Guadalupe Beach Closed for Sewage Spill

Guadalupe Beach Closed for Sewage Spill title=
Guadalupe Beach Closed for Sewage Spill
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By the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued a “BEACH CLOSED” notice [Tuesday] in response to a release of secondary treated wastewater into the Santa Mara River. 

The spill involves an ongoing release of an unknown volume of secondary treated wastewater at the City of Guadalupe Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Santa Maria River. While this wastewater effluent has undergone treatment, no disinfection has occurred. As a result, Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Park has been closed to recreational water contact, extending three (3) miles from the outfall of the Santa Maria River. The affected area will be posted with signs warning the public to avoid contact with the water until sample results indicate the water is safe for recreational use, when the roadway to the Park becomes accessible. Contact with sewage contaminated water increases the risk for certain types of illnesses.

In addition, with the recent heavy rainfall, Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services wants to remind residents about potential health risks associated with storm water runoff at countywide beaches. Storm water is untreated rain water that flows through the drain system into creeks, the ocean, and other waterways. Contact with storm water while swimming or surfing may increase the risk for certain types of illnesses such as rashes, fever, chills, ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea. To minimize potential health risks, it is recommended that people do not swim, play or surf in the ocean and creeks for at least three days following a rain event.  Beachgoers should also avoid areas near the outfall from drainpipes and creeks that enter the ocean following a rain event as storm water runoff may carry high levels of bacteria and pollutants.  

The County of Santa Barbara implements a variety of programs to protect public health and enhance environmental quality of County watersheds and beaches. Working to improve water quality by reducing or treating sources of pollution is a multi-faceted task. 

To find out what is being done to improve water quality and how you can help, visit

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