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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

Volume I, Issue III

I Wish They All Could Be California…Beaches!

As the summer heat begins to roll in, many Los Angelenos will be flocking to our local beaches to seek relief. When they arrive they’ll be expecting to enjoy cool, healthy waters, and the City of Los Angeles is working hard to ensure that’s exactly what they’ll experience.

Dry weather projects include the construction of low flow diversion projects (LFDs), which are structures that route dry weather urban runoff from canyons, streets and small watersheds away from the storm drain system or waterways, and redirects it into the sanitary sewer system, where the contaminated runoff then receives treatment and filtration before being discharged into the ocean.

"Santa Monica Bay and its shorelines are among the nation’s most important coastal symbols, and this emphasizes our underlying principle and motivation to protect the bay and ocean," said Cynthia M. Ruiz, president of the Board of Public Works. "To that end, the City of Los Angeles has committed $500 million from the Prop O bond measure."

In all, the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, along with the County of Los Angeles, have installed a total of 23 LFD structures to decrease the amount of bacterial pollution and contaminated runoff from the streets, sidewalks, yards, and open lots during summer months. Currently the City is in the process of upgrading eight of these LFD structures to increase their capacity and reliability during dry winter periods, making them effective all year round.

These structures divert pollution such as motor oil, dog waste and lawn fertilizer away from waterways and to the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant during the summer months, which helps to ensure that people will be able to enjoy the beach.

The conservation group Heal the Bay notes in their Beach Report Card for 2006-2007 that, as a result of the City’s LFD projects and other initiatives, "Stretches of beach with good water quality included all of Will Rogers State Beach, including Santa Monica Canyon. Clean water for all two miles of Will Rogers State Beach was a first in Beach Report Card history – a testament to Los Angeles City and County runoff diversions and the tougher summer beach water quality regulations."

Though not the cure-all solution, the LFD projects will help to clean up our waterways by treating polluted runoff before it reaches beaches such as Dockweiler Playa Del Rey.

Click here for more information on Low Flow Diversions.

The City of Los Angeles, City of Santa Monica and the County of Los Angeles have installed a total of 23 LFD structures to decrease runoff.
OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE: Manager’s Message | Ocean Day 2008 | Beach Report Card | South L.A. Wetlands

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