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.