10 Beaches Remain Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels

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(Photo: Mike Eliason)

Update by the Public Health Department
1:45 p.m., January 18, 2018

Ocean water samples taken on Tuesday, January 16, were tested for bacteria levels on Wednesday, January 17. Test results reveal that levels of bacteria do exceed standard levels in ocean water at some beaches. The following beaches will remain closed:

  • Arroyo Burro
  • Carpinteria State Beach
  • East Beach at Mission Creek
  • East Beach at Sycamore Creek
  • El Capitan State Beach
  • Hope Ranch Beach
  • Goleta Beach
  • Summerland Beach

 

In addition, ocean waters at the following beaches remain closed until further notice:

  • Butterfly Beach
  • Hammond Beach

 

People should not enter the water when levels of bacteria highly exceed standard levels.

The Public Health Department will continue to test ocean water for microbial contaminants. Based on test results, the following ocean water beaches will be open:

  • Gaviota State Beach
  • Refugio State Beach
  • Leadbetter Beach
  • Sands Beach at Coal Oil Point

In addition, ocean water is open at the following beaches:

  • Guadalupe Dunes
  • Jalama Beach

 

Out of an abundance of caution, in support the recovery and mitigation process, the Public Health Department urges the public to respect the buffer zone of 400 feet of beach area on both sides where sediment from the mudflows are being placed. We ask that you avoid the buffer zone, which is marked by the orange fencing.

The Thomas Fire followed by the significant rainfall and resulting flood is an unprecedented event. There are unknown amounts of untreated sewage and possible chemical contaminants in the water and sand. If the sand or water look or smell out of the ordinary, avoid contact.

Ocean Water testing results are listed below. The standard for each category is listed in black. The test results are listed in red.


Update by the County of Santa Barbara
9:00 p.m., January 13, 2018

Ocean water samples taken on Friday, January 12 were tested for bacteria levels on Saturday, January 13. Test results reveal that levels of bacteria exceed standard levels in ocean water. Ocean water at the following beaches will remain closed:

  • East Beach at Mission Creek
  • East Beach at Sycamore Creek
  • El Capitan State Beach
  • Goleta Beach

In addition, ocean waters at the following beaches remain closed until further notice:

  • Butterfly Beach
  • Hammond Beach
  • Carpinteria State Beach
  • Rincon Beach

People should not enter the water when levels of bacteria highly exceed standard levels. The Public Health Department will continue to test ocean water for microbial contaminants.  

Based on test results, ocean water at the following beaches will be open:

  • Guadalupe Dunes
  • Jalama Beach
  • Arroyo Burro Beach
  • Gaviota State Beach
  • Refugio State Beach
  • Leadbetter Beach
  • Sands Beach at Coal Oil Point
  • Hope Ranch Beach

Out of an abundance of caution, in support the recovery and mitigation process, the Public Health Department established of a buffer zone of 400 feet of beach area on both sides where sediment from the mud flows are being placed at Goleta Beach. The public is asked to avoid this buffer zone.  

This order applies specifically to the ocean waters; no swimming or other recreational activities shall take place in these ocean water locations. This order does not include the sandy beaches.

The Thomas Fire followed by the significant rainfall and resulting flood is an unprecedented event. There are unknown amounts of untreated sewage and possible chemical contaminants in the water and sand. If the sand or water look or smell out of the ordinary, avoid contact. 

Ocean Water testing results are listed below. The standard for each category is listed in black. The test results are listed in red.


Source: County of Santa Barbara
January 11, 2018

Effective immediately, and in order to protect the public’s health, the Santa Barbara County Health Officer has closed the following beach ocean waters for public use until further notice: Gaviota Beach down the coast to the County line at Rincon Point. This includes, but is not limited to, the following beaches: Gaviota, Refugio, El Capitan, Sands at Coal Oil Point, Goleta State Beach, Hope Ranch, Arroyo Burro, Leadbetter, East Beach at Mission Creek, East Beach at Sycamore Creek, Butterfly, Hammond’s, Summerland, Carpinteria State Beach. People should not enter the water as levels of bacteria highly exceed standard levels. All ocean water in these locations should be considered contaminated and no recreational activities or swimming should take place. This order does not include the sandy beaches themselves. Future ocean water testing results will inform the decision about when to re-open the beach ocean waters for public use.
 
The mudslides and runoff from this week’s heavy rain contains unknown amounts of untreated sewage and chemical contaminants. Additionally there are California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) reports of hazardous materials washing up on the beaches having potential to pose a threat to public health and safety.
 
The ocean water testing chart below reflects testing results.
 
*MPN = Most Probable Number = bacteria count per 100 ml of water
The standard is listed in black. The test results are listed in red. The exceedance levels are significant.
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17 Comments

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roetter1 Jan 12, 2018 09:06 AM
10 Beaches Remain Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels

Yes, Santa Barbara County Flood Control started dumping mud at Goleta Beach yesterday. Why are they using Goleta Beach, once again, as a dumping ground?? They are dumping toxic sludge on our beaches! Saw it reported with video of dump trucks dumping mud on this morning's KEYT Live Stream footage. "The mud that is gathered in Montecito is getting removed and taken down to the beach." next shot shows the tag line "DUMPING MUD Goleta Beach" and shows dump trucks dumping onto the beach. The ocean should not be a dumping ground! It needs to be taken to a toxic waste facility or designated landfill like Tajiguas. I know we need to pull together as a community, but this could leave longer term impacts on the ocean water quality in Goleta, and "downstream" in Santa Barbara because of longshore currents.

SBZZ Jan 12, 2018 08:53 AM
10 Beaches Remain Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels

Common sense and local awareness make it obvious that you are risking your health if you jump in the water at these hot spot locations the day after the first big rain storm of the year. But the runoff has subsided to a trickle and with dilution, the bacteria counts are way down from Tuesday. I am curious what level of enforcement goes along with this closure.

SBPaul Jan 12, 2018 03:06 AM
10 Beaches Remain Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels

Are they planning on dumping all of the debris at Goleta beach? I completely understand they are trying to save people right now and moving this stuff as quickly as possible is the priority. Its been getting very cold at night and we are now working through day 3 so sadly we are probably close to a recovery effort and I hope that there is a better way than just dumping whatever that muck is in the ocean. Very sad for the loss of life and I don't want to take anything away from that. just don't want to see anymore unnecessary damage or loss of wildlife.

SBPaul Jan 12, 2018 09:05 AM
10 Beaches Remain Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels

I have not seen timbers or rock. The video from KEYT shows sludge and its ending up on the 101 because dump trucks are not meant to haul "smoothies" I would imagine rock and timber are mostly getting shoved aside for now but some need to be removed are being hauled per tagdes description. I think it makes sense to dump some sludge at the beach especially when there is not a better closer option.

SBPaul Jan 12, 2018 08:37 AM
10 Beaches Remain Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels

Makes good sense. The dump trucks filled with sludge look bad but that is obviously not rock and other debris... The ocean is a huge asset and it is probably gonna handle this fine but yuck.

a-1516593879 Jan 12, 2018 08:35 AM
10 Beaches Remain Closed Due to High Bacteria Levels

They are trucking all the collected debris (broken timbers, felled trees, boulders, smashed cars etc) to Goleta Beach? I missed that one, where did you hear that?

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