Storm Drain Diversions
Constructed in 2006, the purpose of these two storm drain diversions was to improve summer water quality in creeks and beaches in the City of Santa Barbara. The projects diverted dry weather flow (urban runoff) at the Hope Avenue Storm Drain and the Haley Street Storm Drain.
Both locations were known to have high levels of indicator bacteria, and were identified as high priority by the Bacterial Reduction Study conducted for the Creeks Division by URS in 2002. The diversions take the water that enters these storm drains and divert it to the sanitary sewer system for treatment at El Estero Wastewater Treatment Facility. The project is designed for dry weather flows, and does not divert water from storm events.
UPDATE: Hope Avenue Source Located and Eliminated!
During the summer of 2010, the Creeks Division brought two "sewage-sniffing dogs" to help investigate storm drains in the City. Sable and Logan, along with their handlers Scott and Karen Reynolds of Environmental Canine Services, Inc. spent a week in Santa Barbara visiting known "hot spots" as well as exploring storm drains throughout the Laguna Watershed.
The dogs are trained to alert on the scent of human waste and detergents, and while visiting the Hope Avenue location, the dogs led City staff upstream to a sewer main at Hope Avenue which was leaking into the storm drain pipe below it. The broken sewer main was immediately repaired by the City’s Wastewater Division, and the pollution source was eliminated.