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Santa Barbara's 17th Annual Creek Week is coming up soon!
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Storm Drain Mystery Solved
raccoons in storm drainDuring our annual dry weather outfall sampling, staff collected a water sample from a pipe flowing into Mission Creek near Foothill Road.
Testing of the water showed high levels of potassium and high conductivity (which led our Water Quality Scientist Jill Murray and Code Enforcement Officer Chris Clark to suspect it might be discharge from a water softener).
We worked with City Wastewater staff to televise the line to look for illicit connections, where sewer lines have been mistakenly piped into the storm drain system.
Our first round of televising only reached approximately 200 feet into the pipe, and was inconclusive. We did find the adorable little raccoons pictured above, though!
After further investigation, we discovered a nearby facility with basement drains that were piped into the storm drain (this is allowed for pumping out ground water that collects in basements).
tracing dye in storm drainStaff poured tracing dye down the basement drains and sure enough, within minutes, the dye was observed in the storm drain downstream. 
The water flowing into the creek was coming from a water softener as well as wash water from mops, kitchen mats, and carpet cleaning being dumped directly in the basement drains.
Once the facility was aware of the problem, they quickly re-plumbed the water softener to a sewer line, and have identified a drain connected to the sewer for dumping all wash water in the future.
Wastewater staff pumped out the dye and water that had pooled in the storm drain, and the outfall is now dry, as it should be during dry weather! 
Learn more about our Water Quality Pollution Enforcement Program at
Intern Spotlight
Alvin YeungWe have two great interns working with us this summer, and we'd like to introduce one of them, Alvin Yeung! Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Alvin graduated from UCSB with a Bachelor's Degree in Geography in 2015. 
Alvin is currently attending the University of Southern California working toward a Masters in Geographic Information Science and Technology, studying mobile and web development with respect to GIS.
During his internship at the Creeks Division, Alvin is working on building a storm water best management practice (BMP) database that houses all storm water pollution prevention methods for development and redevelopment projects that have been classified as Tier 3.
In the future, Alvin's goal is to create a successful start-up company based on software and mobile application development.
Introducing Creekman!
Creekman bus ad with text "The Ocean Begins on Your Street"
The Creeks Division is excited to introduce Santa Barbara's newest superhero, Creekman!

We are working with City TV staff to produce a new series of television ads featuring Creekman, look for them to air during your favorite shows later this summer! 

Follow Creekman on Facebook for tips on how you can help protect creek and ocean water quality!

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

Certified Clean Creeks Business Logo

ah juice
432 E. Haley Street
(805) 698-5443
Santa Barbara Steam Cleaning
(805) 962-2723
Big Green Cleaning Company
(805) 692-1000

Southern Coast Janitorial Services
(805) 964-4993
Brasil Arts Café
1230 State Street, Suite C

(805) 845-7656

Spoon Santa Barbara Gelato

1222 State Street

(805) 962-1838
Rusty's Pizza
111 State Street

(805) 564-1111

For a complete list of Certified Businesses or to learn more about the program, visit

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

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