Santa Barbara County beaches are closed effective immediately due to high levels of bacteria in the ocean due to the heavy amount of runoff from recent flash floods and mudslides in the area, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said Thursday.
The sandy beaches themselves are not closed off, the department noted, but authorities urge people not to go in the water because levels of bacteria “highly exceed standard levels.”
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“All ocean water in these locations should be considered contaminated and no recreational activities or swimming should take place,” the department said.
Runoff contains unknown amounts of untreated sewage and chemical contaminants, the department said.
The California Office of Emergency Services also reports hazardous materials that have washed up on Santa Barbara County beaches, posing a potential threat to public health and safety.
The department said the waters will reopen when testing results confirm it is safe to do so.
The following Santa Barbara County areas are affected:
▪ El Capitan
▪ Sands at Coal Oil Point
▪ Goleta State Beach
▪ Hope Ranch
▪ Arroyo Burro
▪ East Beach at Mission Creek
▪ Butterfly Beach
▪ Carpinteria State Beach