The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

The Student News Site of Dos Pueblos High School

The Charger Account

Over one million gallons of raw sewage spilled in Goleta

Goleta Beach looking out towards the ocean. Darkened water due to sewage can be seen.

On Friday, Feb. 16, a hole was found in a Goleta sewer main. Department of Public Health officials were alerted of the spill on Feb. 17, but the message was not acknowledged until Feb. 21. On Feb. 22, the Department of Public Health put out a press release alerting the public to stay away from a 1.5-mile area of Goleta Beach.

The initial size was reported as 1,000 gallons, although this report was incorrect. A closer estimate of the initial spill measured 30,000 gallons.

Goleta Beach with the pier in the background. (Leo Quinkert)

On Friday, Feb. 23, the spill was measured at 1,025,000 gallons, making it the largest environmental spill in Santa Barbara County since the 2015 Refugio State Beach crude oil spill. Rain assisted in washing the sewage to the beach and ocean.

Exposure to the sewage can lead to adverse effects, such as rashes, gastrointestinal disease, and fecal-borne diseases. There is no way to remove the sewage, so the City of Goleta is waiting for it to degrade naturally.

Goleta Beach. Darkened water due to sewage can be seen. (Leo Quinkert)

The beach will be closed until the water tests for safe levels of bacteria. The Goleta West Sanitary District could face penalties for the environmental damage caused by the spill and it is currently unknown what caused the hole to form in the sewer main. Miramar Beach is also closed due to a separate, smaller sewage spill, measuring around 2,500 gallons.


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Leo Quinkert
Leo Quinkert, Reporter
Leo Quinkert (10) acquiring more knowledge about trains from the novel Burlington Northern Diesel Locomotives, written by Paul D. Scheider. Leo has taken a life-long interest in trains, and it is a hobby of his to explore the different models of them that have existed throughout history and their main purposes. “They are an undervalued and cleaner form of transportation, and are truly fascinating machines,” Leo said.
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