LA Sanitation Announces Wet Weather Plans

City Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, Seventh District, joined Sanitation Director Enrique C. Zaldivar to share Sanitation’s efforts to prepare for rain and encourage residents to get ready as well. Gathering at a debris basin in Sylmar, in anticipation of the wet weather season, City officials advised Los Angeles residents to prevent flooding and stormwater pollution by following these simple tips at home:

  • Sweep driveway instead of washing it down;
  • Remove or secure loose debris to prevent it from entering the storm drain system;
  • Avoid watering outdoor plants and/or lawns on rainy days to conserve water and prevent flooding on streets;
  • Clean up after pets;
  • Do not throw cigarette butts and other litter on the ground.

“We partner with residents to promote public health and safety during wet weather events,” said Enrique C. Zaldivar, Sanitation Director. “I am asking Angelenos to help us maintain the stormwater system clear of trash and other obstructions to prevent flooding. Also, please protect the stormwater that flows out to the ocean. Do not litter or wash pesticides and other harmful liquids into the storm drains.”

Catch basins serve as an entry point to the storm drain system, where untreated rainwater and urban runoff enters and flows directly to the Los Angeles River and Ballona Creek. In the first heavy rain of the season, as much as 10 billion gallons of contaminated water and debris flow through the storm drains and into Los Angeles water bodies. This polluted water and debris quickly travels to the ocean, resulting in beach closures and impacts on marine life.  

Sanitation crews are ready to respond to storm-related emergencies should they occur. Every year, Sanitation prepares and implements a wet weather preparedness and response plan aimed at ensuring readiness of staff, equipment, facilities and operations. In preparation for this season’s rain, catch basins citywide have been cleaned to minimize the possibility of flooding. All debris basins have been inspected to prevent dirt and mudflow in the canyons or hillsides from going into communities. Sanitation has also verified that all stormwater pumping-plants are operating normally. Wastewater treatment plants are also thoroughly inspected to mitigate any potential spills.  

Photos courtesy of Jamison Wieser and Clinton Steeds.

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