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News Events Referrals Deals Classifieds Comments About

Leadbetter Beach Sewage Spill
updated: Dec 03, 2012, 1:52 PM

Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara received a phone call at 8:10 a.m. this morning from a local resident reporting that the sewer manhole near her house had been had been overflowing since noon yesterday. City staff responded and cleaned the line clearing a root blockage and stopping the spill by 8:30 a.m. However, given the time between when the resident noticed the spill and when it was reported, staff are estimating that 6,600 gallons of sewage were spilled. The section of sewer main where the spill occurred had been recently rehabilitated and lined with a continuous plastic liner. Subsequent closed circuit television inspection of the sewer main revealed that roots causing the blockage had grown into the main from a private lateral.

Water from the spill flowed down Luneta Plaza into a storm drain inlet at the west end of the street. From there it flowed in the stormdrain to the point at Ledbetter where it discharged down the cliffs to the ocean. To prevent public contact with the untreated sewage, the beach at Ledbetter was closed. It is expected to remain closed until water quality tests show it is safe.

Although staff conduct regular checks of the sewer system, there are over 7,000 manholes in the City and we are reliant on the public to notify us of sewage spills. The City has staff on-call at all times and the public is urged to report any suspected sewage spills as quickly as possible. During regular business hours people should call 564-5413. After hours, nights and weekends please call 963-4286.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 349796 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 02:05 PM

Someone ought to tell the city PR dept that it's spelled "Leadbetter".

 

 COMMENT 349803 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 02:21 PM

some people need to straighten out their priorities.

 

 COMMENT 349807 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 02:34 PM

20 minutes to stop the spill, but why did it take residents hours to report it? That is a shame.

 

 COMMENT 349818 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 02:58 PM

eeewwww...

 

 COMMENT 349829P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 03:18 PM

"Gosh, it's not MY responsibility to call the City. They should keep better track of their sewage! Besides, I had to walk the dog."

 

 COMMENT 349835 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 03:39 PM

I hear about these kinds of spills around Santa Barbara. I think this is one of the reasons why the Channel Keepers brought a suit against the city to clean up their act. We should never have to close a beach due to sewage. That's disgusting.

 

 COMMENT 349836P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 03:42 PM

Sounds to me like the woman could have prevented thousands of gallons being spilled by calling yesterday. City crews are on standby 24 hours a day.

 

 COMMENT 349837 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 03:44 PM

Call 911 for sewage spills!

 

 COMMENT 349838 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 03:45 PM

I was in a canoe from about 9am until 11am yesterday, and I remember seeing water cascading down the cliffs near Leadbetter-- something I don't think I'd seen before, but I've never been paddling out in the rain (drizzle) before either. So now that I hear what was happening it does seem like that was a lot of water for just drizzly weather (didn't really start raining until later). I think it might have been happening for a few hours before it was reported.

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 03:45 PM

@36P You should have told her that yeasterday she probley didn't know.

 

 COMMENT 349851 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 04:06 PM

At least the lady called...

 

 COMMENT 349868P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 04:41 PM

My boys were both out there surfing yesterday afternoon.
They took showers right when they got home, but is there anything else they should do now?

 

 COMMENT 349869 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 04:43 PM

349868P - Relax and let the E. coli run its course.

 

 COMMENT 349883 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 05:07 PM

Public works is very proactive regarding maintenance. These manhole spouting leaks used to be a lot more common.

 

 COMMENT 349899 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 05:42 PM

706... it's spelled both ways though I've seen it as Ledbetter more than the version you're advocating.

 

 COMMENT 349900P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 05:42 PM

I must agree that if in doubt, at least call 911!
I'm appalled that neither the observer nor anyone else called! Oh well. I hope they learn something from this incident.

I believe in looking out for my neighborhood and I do so, and have been thanked by both policemen and neighbors for doing so. (I once called 911 after watching a very angry, possibly high person and it turned into a stolen goods/stolen car investigation. And yes, he was on crack or meth. I only called because nothing good could come from that anger; I didn't want to see it turned on a human - even himself.)

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 06:22 PM

I got a friend that surfs in ventura and always takes a peroxide bath afterwards..I don't think he puts it in his hair though.

 

 COMMENT 349940 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 08:30 PM

Sewage overflow reports will happen much faster when it's overflowing into your house. Consider it a good thing that didn't happen.

 

 LALALALA agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:56 AM

Scrap that surf session at Leadbetter today!

 

 COMMENT 349971 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 06:21 AM

349899 - I'm not "advocating" anything. It IS spelled LEADBETTER and anyone spelling it differently is wrong.

 

 COMMENT 349997 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 08:06 AM

It historically is Ledbetter - named after the Ledbetter family- Merry Christmas

 

 COMMENT 350000 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 08:20 AM

971...you must be new to the area...welcome.

 

 COMMENT 350068 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 10:46 AM

997 & 000, I agree with you but I just did a Google search of Ledbetter and was auto corrected to Leadbetter. Even after I changed it to back to Ledbetter, Leadbetter popped back up. Do you have a link to the history?

 

 COMMENT 350069 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 10:51 AM

CALL!! Do NOT WAIT!! Jeez

 

 COMMENT 350075 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 11:11 AM

For everyone condemning the reporting woman for not calling earlier -- how do you know she didn't? Maybe she called the wrong City department and the message was never forwarded, or maybe the City dropped the ball and is now blaming this woman.

 

 COMMENT 350088P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 11:44 AM

...or God intended the sewer to overflow as a reminder to all of us that SB is full of sinners. Bow down now! LOL...

 

 COMMENT 350094 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 11:52 AM

Typical attitude of alot of people; if it doesn't directly effect him or her, then so what.

 

 COMMENT 350122 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 12:38 PM

350000 - Lived here all my life, yutz.

 

 COMMENT 350132 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 12:50 PM

Dan - You and the rest of the LedHeds really need to look no more than the friggin sign at the entrance to the beach.

BUT

If you need a reference to the LEADBETTER family (not the Ledbetter family 997) from which the beach is named then try doing an Edhat search for Neal Graffy's article "Fun Circa 1904"

 

 COMMENT 350201P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 02:54 PM

I like to call it Bedwetter's....

 

 COMMENT 350249 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:04 PM

4th gen SB'er here, and we've always spelled it LEADBETTER.
Named after Frederick Leadbetter

 

 COMMENT 350263P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:48 PM

What a devolution and thread jack! I hope some readers have learned something about city resources and phone numbers, which are listed in the public info posting about this incident, or that those who observe bubbling man hole covers (probably nasty smelling and looking fluid) will at least call 911.
Water cascading down the cliffs, per Quad Lix?! C'mon people! I may be sounding holier than thou, but this is outrageous. Yes, maybe the woman did call, but I doubt she called 911. This is one case where calling emergency for what may be considered a non-emergency appears valid.

"The City has staff on-call at all times and the public is urged to report any suspected sewage spills as quickly as possible. During regular business hours people should call 564-5413. After hours, nights and weekends please call 963-4286."

And yes, I've now learned it's LEADbetter. I thought it was LEDbetter. I've lived here all my life. Thanks for that.

 

 COMMENT 350340P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 08:20 PM

It's great that someone noticed that the sewer manhole was overflowing and called it in. SB Public Works should be inspecting sewers to ensure that roots growing from laterals don't block a main sewer line, the number of manholes doesn't matter. The city hired a private contractor recently to instruct city public works staff in video inspection and sewer cleaning, among other things,which may help.

 

33% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

 

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