Santa Barbara County prosecutors say they’ve reached a settlement with a small private water district over claims it was diverting water from a creek without proper permits. The action involved the Montecito Creek Water Company.
It has limited water rights for Hot Springs Creek. But, State Fish and Wildlife officials say the water company didn’t have a permit to divert water. And, they say they found broken and abandoned pipes in the creek bed.
The settlement calls for the water company to take steps to get proper permits, and to restore the stream bed. Without admitting guilt, it also calls for the small water company to pay $20,000 in civil penalties, and $5,000 to the DA’s Office to recover its enforcement costs.