And the Emmy goes to...

The City of Santa Barbara! The Creeks Division's "Favorite Surf Spot" public service announcement recently won a Regional Emmy Award!


Produced by City TV and starring our very own Creeks Supervisor George Johnson, the PSA is part of a series of ads featuring beach activities taking place at the storm drain.


The PSAs include the

message "The Ocean Begins on Your Street" and are designed to illustrate the important concept that everyday activities at home have an effect on water quality at the beaches where we play. 


Click here to view the PSA:  Favorite Surf PSA 2010.wmv 

Construction to Begin on Mission Creek

In early August, the City of Santa Barbara will begin construction of the Mission Creek Fish Passage Project at the Upper Caltrans Channel.


The project will be located in the concrete lined channel between Los Olivos Street and Pedregosa Street. The project will include reconstruction of the channel to improve migration access for the endangered steelhead trout.


For more information on the project, please visit

Sewage Leak into Mission Creek Stopped

During a routine survey of Mission Creek at the concrete channel near Carrillo Street, Creeks Division staff noticed what appeared to be degraded toilet paper and brown sludge in water flowing from the storm drain that runs along West Carrillo Street.


Extremely high indicator bacteria levels, in addition to sporadic positive test results for human sewage markers during our DNA-based research efforts suggested that human waste was entering the storm drain. But where, and how?


Previous testing of water samples upstream in the storm drain network, along with televising part of the storm drain several years ago, did not reveal the source. Could it be occasional RV dumping, an intermittent sewage leak, or even people defecating near parking lot drains?


With a combination of persistence and teamwork, the Creeks Division and Wastewater Division identified two sources of untreated sewage entering the storm drain from compromised private sanitary sewer laterals.


PHOTO: Dye testing revealed that private sewer laterals were leaking into the storm drain system, which flows from the Carrillo Drain into Mission Creek..


The first source was comprised of untreated sewage from a commercial building, where a broken private lateral crossed through the top of the brick and mortar roof of the storm drain. The second, a much slower leak, came from a failing private lateral serving another commercial building.


Within 24 hours of confirming the sources of the leaks, contractors hired by the property owners had repaired the broken sewer laterals. 


Click here for additional details on how this mystery was solved.


Remember, if you see (or smell) pollution in the street, storm drain, or creek, call the Creeks Division's Enforcement Hotline at (805) 897-2688.



Newly Certified Clean Creeks Businesses

Join the Creeks Division in congratulating the following local businesses taking important steps to protect creek and ocean water quality by becoming Certified Clean Water Businesses!




Chuck’s of Hawaii

3888 State Street

(805) 687-4417


Meun Fan Thai Café

1819 Cliff Drive

(805) 882-9244


Starbucks Coffee

1235 State Street

(805) 884-0243


Starbucks Coffee

539 State Street

(805) 884-4029


Starbucks Coffee

800 State Street

(805) 962-0173 


View the complete list of Certified Businesses online at

Creek Week Planning has Begun!

The 12th Annual Creek Week is scheduled for September 17 - 25, 2011.


The week-long celebration features a wide variety of events hosted by various community organizations.


For more information, please visit

Job Opportunity for Environmental Educator

If you enjoy working with kids and are passionate about the environment, this may be the job for you!


Our friends at Art From Scrap (who provide much of our youth watershed education) are currently hiring for a new Environmental Educator to begin August 15th.


Click here for details!

City of Santa Barbara • PO Box 1990 • Santa Barbara, CA 93102
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