– California Storm Water Best Management Practices Handbook
American Public Works Association, March 1993

Los Angeles has two drainage systems-the sewers and the storm drains.
The storm drain system was designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from city streets out to the ocean. Because the system contains no filters, it now serves the unintended function of carrying urban pollution straight to the ocean.

Rain, industrial and household water mixed with urban pollutants creates stormwater pollution. The pollutants include: oil and other automotive fluids, paint and construction debris, yard and pet wastes, pesticides and litter. Urban runoff pollution flows to the ocean through the storm drain system-1,500 miles of pipes that take water and debris straight from Los Angeles streets to the ocean. Each day, 100 million gallons of polluted urban runoff enter the ocean untreated, leaving toxic chemicals in our surf and over 4,300 tons of trash on our beaches annually.

Urban runoff pollution contaminates the ocean, closes beaches, harms aquatic life and increases the risk of inland flooding by clogging gutters and catch basins. These pages tell you how to prevent ocean pollution from "stormwater" or "urban runoff." Best Management Practices (BMPs) will ensure a cleaner ocean and city.

There are a series of pamphlets that describe storm drain protection measures. These pamphlets include:
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