Montecito Sanitary District / Heal the Ocean - Effluent Plume Tracking Study
Monitoring the Microbiology of the Montecito Outflow Wastewater Plume
This study observes the horizontal advection and diffusion of surface waters in the vicinity of the Montecito, California wastewater outflow and incorporates microbiological measurements from water samples collected following plume waters for characterizing
bacterial indicators, indicator DNA, bacterial communities, and bacterial pathogens indicative of contamination.
The performance of this work is towards answering the following questions:
- Are there conditions during which plume waters routinely reach the shore?
- What are the distributions (in space and time) of plume-associated fecal indicator bacteria, indicator DNA, and bacterial pathogens?
- What are the estimated loss coefficients for indicator bacteria, indicator DNA, and specific bacterial pathogens, if found, within the plume?
- Can the loss of microbiological constituents following plume motion be reconciled using an advection-diffusion (with microbiological loss term) type equation.
The primary goals of the oceanographic study are to:
- Describe the likely pathways of the wastewater plume when (and if) it is at the surface
- Indicate where (and if) wastewater is most likely to enter the surf zone
- Estimate the plume concentration when (and if) entering the surf zone
- Determine if waters located farther offshore from the outfall location move similarly
- The Santa Barbara Independent: Heal the Ocean Studying Montecito's Shores
- The Santa Barbara Independent: Grant Money to Fund Near-Shore Study
- Heal the Ocean Newsletter: HTO Receives $330,000 State Grant to Study Wastewater Outfall (PDF)
See this experiment's:
Figure of all 774 tracks for this project: