Stormwater home page City of Los Angeles home page
      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

Volume I, Issue IV

Coming to a Neighborhood Near You – Disconnected Downspouts

The City of Los Angeles recently announced a new project, the Downspout Disconnection Program, that aims to help manage localized floods and improve water quality on private property throughout the city, especially in areas that currently have limited storm drain capacity.

The pilot program, slated to begin in December 2009, will provide home and property owners, neighborhood associations and roofing contractors a chance to work as partners with the City of Los Angeles. In addition to reducing runoff and flooding, this project will also reduce potable water needs by considerably increasing the use of rainwater for irrigation.

“If every single household captured some water – just a little – we wouldn’t have to buy as much from out of state,” Jassim-Pugh, a landscape architect from Santa Monica, told the Los Angeles Times.

The Downspout Disconnection Program was first identified in the Ballona Creek Watershed Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) Strategy and Implementation Project Report. This Report was completed in September 2005 by a task force consisting of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission (SMBRC) the County of Los Angeles, the Cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Culver City, environmental group Heal the Bay, Ballona Creek Renaissance, National Park Service, Rivers and Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. and Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

“This is the ultimate multi-benefit project, with multiple partners,” says Kosta Kaporis, Environmental Engineer with the City’s Watershed Protection Division. “Reducing the amount of flow that is discharged into the storm drain assists with flood control, replenishes the groundwater and reduces the amount of potable water needed for irrigation.”

Up to 600 residential and commercial property owners are expected to participate in the program, which is receiving funding through a million-dollar grant from Proposition 12 administered by the SMBRC via the State Coastal Conservancy.

Once completed, the project will reduce more than one million cubic feet of runoff from entering Ballona Creek every year. The pilot project will also serve as a template for developing citywide standards for stormwater diversion on private property through Los Angeles in the future.

Rain barrels, like the one shown above, can greatly reduce runoff by capturing water before it runs in to the streets. This stored water can then be used to nourish plants, lawns and gardens.

OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE: Manager’s Message | Elmer Avenue | Sun Valley Flooding | Dog Waste Stinks

Subscribe to this e-Newsletter