MONTECITO — A sewage spill has led to the closure of Butterfly Beach to recreational water contact.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued the closure for the beach within one-quarter mile of the storm drain outfall.
The closure is in response to a spill of untreated sewage reaching ocean waters along the shoreline.
Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services was notified by the Montecito Sanitary District of a broken sewer force main on Channel Drive. The broken pipe is currently being repaired, and no additional sewage is anticipated to be discharged to the storm drain, according to the public health department.
It was estimated that the spill involved a release of approximately 6,650 gallons of sewage.
The affected area has been posted with signs warning the public to avoid contact with the water until sample results indicate the water is safe for recreational use. Contact with sewage-contaminated water increases the risk for conditions such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting and diarrhea.
For more information, visit www.sbprojectcleanwater.org.
— Katherine Zehnder