City workers repair a sinkhole caused by a broken water main | Credit: Paul Wellman

Last year, city sewer lines spilled more than seven times, temporarily fouling city waterways with 855 gallons of effluent. This info was released to the City Council as part of a settlement agreement to an excess-sewage-spillage lawsuit filed in 2011 by Santa Barbara Channelkeeper against City Hall. That settlement limits the number of spills to no more than eight and requires City Hall to clean, repair, or replace one of its 257 miles of sewage pipe every year. To comply with the settlement’s terms, sewage rates have been increased multiple times and are projected to increase by 5 percent next year.


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