Program Description

Program Description

The City of Los Angeles’ award-winning Stormwater Program focuses on both flood control and pollution abatement and employs a multi-pronged approach, utilizing education, engineering, enforcement and evaluation to ensure Los Angeles’ compliance with federal, state and local regulations and reduce the amount of stormwater pollution flowing into and through regional waterways.


Los Angeles’ public education program utilizes school outreach, targeted point-of-purchase advertising, community events, engaging education materials and online social marketing components that include a Facebook page, blog and quarterly e-newsletter to educate Angelenos about the importance of keeping pollutants out of our local creeks, rivers, lakes and beaches.


Los Angeles develops and constructs capital improvement projects to capture trash, clean up urban runoff and retain storm water for beneficial uses. Funding from various federal, state and local grants as well as voter-approved Proposition O provides for the construction of flood control and pollution abatement projects which range from the rehabilitation of local lakes to the construction of coastal low-flow diversions, from the installation of catch basin opening covers to the maintenance of the municipal storm drain system.



City crews maintain the municipal storm drain system, cleaning 100,000 catch basins and removing thousands of tons of trash annually!

The City of Los Angeles evaluates urban runoff pollution issues in four local watersheds – Los Angeles River, Ballona Creek, Dominguez Channel and Santa Monica Bay. Each year, the program collects thousands of samples from open channels, coastline and the ocean, conducting tens of thousands of analyses used to evaluate the impact of pollutants on the City’s water bodies. Every day, City crews work to maintain the municipal storm drain system, cleaning annually, on average 100,000 catch basins and removing thousands of tons of trash from the City’s municipal storm drain system which is approximately 1,500 miles in length.

Ensuring Compliance

The City of Los Angeles complies with mandates outlined in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (or NPDES) Municipal Storm Water Permit (No. CAS004001), which includes working with stakeholders in the development and adoption of achievable Total Maximum Daily Load (or TMDL) regulations as well as the creation of monitoring and implementation plans for adopted TMDLs within the City’s four watersheds and impacted water bodies to ensure Los Angeles’ compliance.

*Photo courtesy of majunznk via Flickr