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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

Welcome to the Stormwater Program web site! The City of Los Angeles’ award-winning Stormwater Program is committed to protecting the beneficial uses of our receiving waters through four key areas: Public Education and Outreach; Engineering; Enforcement and Inspection; and Science and Monitoring.

To read more about current events or activities, click on any item below.

UPDATED: 3/23/12

LID Workshops to be Held in April

LA Bureau of Sanitation is hosting two Low Impact Development Requirement Workshops in April, and we invite you to attend one of these workshops to learn more about how the new LID Ordinance and its requirements, which will become effective on May 12, 2012, will affect you. Here are the specifics regarding these workshops:

Who Should Attend?

We encourage developers, contractors, architects, landscape architects, engineers and anyone else who is interested in learning more about Low Impact Development.

What will be covered?

The information in both workshops will be identical. Each of the workshops will include a presentation that will cover:

  • A brief overview of the Low Impact Development Ordinance
  • A summary of the new LID requirements and plan approval process; and,
  • A Q & A session

Where and when will the workshops take place?

Workshop #1

Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, 6100 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys, 91406


Workshop #2

Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Location: Bureau of Sanitation, Media Technical Center, 2714 Media Center Dr., LA, 90065

To RSVP or to ask questions, please contact:

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: (800) 974-9794, Option #3

Download flyer

Huizar and Community Mark Completion of First Stormwater Capture Facility in Northeast Area

City officials and area residents celebrate enhancements to Garvanza Park

Councilmember José Huizar and Garvanza and Highland Park community members joined city officials to celebrate the completion of stormwater infrastructure and park enhancements at Garvanza Park. The greenspace was reopened after being partially closed since March 2010 as the Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation, Department of Recreation and Parks, and North East Trees installed two underground stormwater facilities, a new irrigation system, 12 new trees, drought-tolerant grass, and new exercise equipment.

To view the complete news release click here to download the PDF.

March 2 – Hansen Dam Skate Park and Wetlands Restoration Completion Ceremony

Please join us in celebrating the grand opening of two significant improvements at the Hansen Dam Recreation Park — the Skate Park and the Wetlands Restoration Project.

Friday, March 2, 9:00 a.m.
Hansen Dam Recreation Park Lower Parking Lot
Please enter the park at Dronsfield Avenue off of Osborne. At the end, make a right and an immediate left onto the parking lot driveway.

The Skate Park was funded by Proposition 40, and the Wetlands Restoration by the Proposition O Clean Water Bond. Feel free to send this to all interested parties. For more information, please see the attached flyer or call the Dept. of Public Works Public Affairs Office at (213) 978-0333.

Download the Grand Opening Notice PDF flyer.

For more information visit the L.A. Stormwater blog

City of Los Angeles Opens South LA Wetlands Park

City officials and community stakeholders celebrated the grand opening of the much-anticipated, nine-acre South Los Angeles Wetlands Park. This expansive and innovative park, once the site of a former MTA bus yard, provides the community with an urban oasis, education center and passive recreational nature center in the heart of South Los Angeles.

More infomation [here]

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Selects Los Angeles for Federal Partnership

January 12, 2012 — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar held a press conference at the North Atwater Park announcing its selection of the Los Angeles River under a federal partnershipdue called the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. The Los Angeles River was chosen due to its unique capacity to promote economic, environmental and social benefits by reconnecting large urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with an iconic natural resource.

Also in attendance were Council members Tom LaBonge and Ed Reyes, as well as Congressman Adam Schiff and Congresswoman Lucille Royball Allard. [more]

FoLAR Releases 7-Year Study on Trash Along the Los Angeles River

Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) recently released the findings of a 7-year study done on the makeup of trash and debris found along the 51-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River.

Culled from the exhaustive efforts of hundreds of volunteers, this breakdown and analysis of the debris found in our waterways reveals what types of discarded trash is prevalent in the various areas of the Los Angeles River Watershed down to item brand.

To view or download this study, visit FoLAR’s web site or click here (PDF 2.6MB)

City To Break Ground On Water Quality Project At Temescal Canyon Park In The Pacific Palisades

(Los Angeles, CA)—The City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works will begin construction of the Temescal Canyon Park Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) project in January 2012 and will continue through fall 2013. The nearly two-year, $8-million stormwater infrastructure enhancement will help the City of Los Angeles meet state and federal water quality guidelines by keeping urban runoff from flowing directly to Santa Monica.

For more information, download the full article here (PDF)

L.A. River News: River Clean-Up – Saturday, October 29th

Date: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Time: 8:00 A.M.
Location: Griffith Park’s Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive, LA 90027

For more details, please visit the website:
Email address: [email protected]

Download the flyer here (PDF)

L.A. River News: Folar River Walk – Saturday, October 22nd in Burbank

Join FoLAR on Saturday October 22nd at 10:00 AM to view Burbank’s Johnny Carson Park and trace its connection to the LA River. Learn about the pending redesign of the park including potential stormwater amenities, as well as opportunities for community involvement in the design process.

You and the FoLAR guide will then explore a local walking & equestrian path along the river at Buena Vista Park near Bob Hope Drive & Riverside Drive. Birds often spotted on the river here include mallards, black-necked stilts, and egrets.

More info here (PDF)

LID Ordinance PDF (1.1MB)

Los Angeles Puts The LID On Stormwater Pollution
Los Angeles City Council Unanimously Passes Low Impact Development Ordinance

LOS ANGELES (September 28, 2011)—The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously passed a landmark Low Impact Development Ordinance (LID). Developed by the Bureau of Sanitation in collaboration with community members, environmental organizations, business groups and the building industry, LID calls for development and redevelopment projects to mitigate runoff in a manner that captures rainwater at its source, while utilizing natural resources including rain barrels, permeable pavement, rainwater storage tanks, infiltration swales or curb bumpouts to contain water. Reports have shown that LID is the most effective and cost-efficient means of managing stormwater and abating water pollution. LID practices are designed to address runoff and pollution at the source. Other low impact development benefits include water conservation, groundwater recharge and greening communities.

To download the full press release PDF: click here

The proposed Low Impact Development Ordinance and related documents are available online at the City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program LID Ordinance Page

Los Angeles River News

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Councilman Ed P. Reyes (1st District) and officials from the Departments of Public Works and Recreation and Parks invite you to:

Demolition Kick-Off Ceremony for the Albion Dairy Acquisition Project, A Future Los Angeles River Front Park
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Where: Downey Recreation Center, 1739 Albion Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031

For more details, please visit the website:
Email address: [email protected]
Download the flyer here: Kick-Off Ceremony Invitation

Los Angeles County Flood Control District Water Quality Funding Initiative

Rivers, lakes, creeks, streams, beaches and coastal waters in the Los Angeles area have been found to be contaminated with toxins and health threatening pollutants at levels well above established public health standards. The LA County Clean Water, Clean Beaches Initiative is a comprehensive effort to clean up our waterways in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act. Contamination is an unacceptable threat to children, adults and wildlife, and cannot be tolerated.

For more information, please visit: Department of Public Works

California Coastal Cleanup Day Sept. 17

Join Heal the Bay and 90 countries across the planet for the 27th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day set for 9:00 AM until noon on Saturday September 17th. Every year, citizens from around the world volunteer in helping to pick up trash, plastic bags and styrofoam from our beaches.

For more information, visit; Heal the Bay: Coastal Clean Up Day

Development Best Management Practices Handbook Adopted

We are pleased to announce that on July 1, 2011, the City of Los Angeles’ Board of Public Works adopted the 4th Edition of the Development Best Management Practices Handbook – Part B: Planning Activities, which incorporates Low Impact Development (LID) principles and strategies.

A copy of the newly adopted 4th Edition of the Development Best Management Practices Handbook – Part B: Planning Activities can be found here:

Kids Ocean Day and The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Calls Over 6,300 L.A. Area Children and Teachers to Clean-Up Dockweiler States Beach and Form a Massive Talking Fish That Says, “KELP US!!”

Playa Del Rey, CA (June 2, 2011)—Confirming their commitment to protecting marine life, over 6,300 area students, teachers and volunteers participated in the 18th Annual Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up and formed a TALKING FISH to direct our focus on the impact of litter in the ocean. The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, the California Coastal Commission, the City of Los Angeles and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful are hosting the event. Read more here (PDF article).

Stormwater Solutions Awards Top Storm Water & Erosion Control Projects to City of L.A.

The City of Los Angeles’ Stormwater Program’s Rainwater Harvesting Pilot Program is the proud recipient of Stormwater Solutions 2010 Top Storm Water & Erosion Control Project for 2010.

Storm water runoff reduction is a huge challenge and priority for many cities, and Los Angeles is among those investigating alternative hydromodification solutions In March 2009, the city launched a pilot rainwater harvesting program in the Ballona Creek Watershed that aimed at doing just that [more]

Hitting a Homerun for Clean Water

The term "batting clean-up" took on a completely different meaning on when players from the Los Angeles Dodgers traded in their batting gloves for Latex gloves and volunteered their time to clean up the banks of the Los Angeles River.

Part of the Dodgers annual Community Caravan, this year’s event featured the theme “Two Days of Community Service” where current and former Dodgers — along with former coach Tommy Lasorda — joined fellow Angelenos in giving back to the Los Angeles community.

Read the full story on our blog

Download the flyer here

City of LA Vouchers Now Available for RV Wastewater Disposal

Wastewater from recreational vehicles must be disposed of legally. For those parked in the Venice area, the City of Los Angeles now offers vouchers for free recreational vehicle (RV) wastewater disposal. To obtain a free voucher, please visit:

Council District 11, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s District Office
7166 West Manchester Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045
(310) 568-8772


Los Angeles Police Department
Pacific Area, Pacific Patrol Division
12312 Culver Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 482-6335

You may also e-mail the City of Los Angeles, Stormwater Program with your request for a free voucher at [email protected].

Once the voucher has been obtained, please bring your vehicle and completed voucher to:

Hyperion Treatment Plant, Gate B
7760 W. Imperial Highway, Playa del Rey, CA 90293
Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Recreational vehicles only, please. Waste from commercial vehicles can be taken to:

Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, 6100 Woodley Ave., LA, CA 91406

This service is available to City of Los Angeles residents only.

Remember: Dumping wastewater on streets, into storm drains, and into the ocean is ILLEGAL and HARMFUL TO PUBLIC HEALTH and THE ENVIRONMENT. All who commit illegal dumping will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Clean Water: It’s a Team Effort! Report all illegal dumping violations immediately! Call 3-1-1 or (800) 974-9794.

City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program in the News

The City’s Stormwater Program has been featured in several news publications both online and in print. The Municipal Sewer & Water did a feature on the Watershed Protection Division’s activities in their administering of the Stormwater Program and the Los Angeles Times had an article on the program’s Green Streets Program with a feature on Elmer Avenue.

Give Us Your Input — Get a FREE Tote Bag!

The City of Los Angeles Stormwater Program strives to provide the best customer service possible! And you can help us achieve that by taking a quick survey.

For a limited time, those who fill out the survey will receive a FREE Stormwater organic cotton tote bag!

Want to get started?

Stormwater Residential BMPs Hit L.A. Area Stores

On an ongoing basis, the City of Los Angeles coordinates with more than 200 retailers throughout the Southland to get pollution prevention messages in stores.

Bilingual shelf-talkers, posters and tip cards encourage customers to dispose of their unwanted household hazardous materials properly by taking them to one of six City-sponsored SAFE centers.

To see the other creative, click here.

New Online Analysis Tool for BMPs Launched

The City of Los Angeles’ Stormwater Program, in a joint venture with Heal the Bay, Geosyntec and Los Angeles County, has recently launched SBPAT, a tool that facilitates the prioritization and selection of BMP project opportunities and technologies in urbanized watersheds. This new portal, once fully implemented, will be able to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of BMP projects throughout the watersheds of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles River Aerial Photos

The Watershed Protection Division is publishing aerial photos taken of the Los Angeles River from its point of origin in the West Hills area to the City limits where the river passes through the City of Vernon. Come and take a "trip."

L.A. Stormwater Program Releases Design Guidelines Standards for Rainwater Harvesting

The City of Los Angeles’ Stormwater Program recently released the 1st Edition of its Green Streets & Green Alleys Design Guidelines. The document can be downloaded here.

City of L.A. Surpassed Current Trash TMDL Milestone of 50% Reduction

The City of Los Angeles has achieved over 60 percent trash reduction in the Los Angeles River (60%) and Ballona Creek (65%) surpassing the Trash Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) current compliance milestone of 50 percent reduction. More than 32,000 new catch screens and inserts are already installed across the City and are already diverting over 2,300 tons of trash from reaching and polluting Los Angeles’ waterways and beaches.

The City has already invested nearly $50 million towards retrofitting catch basins with structural devices to prevent trash from reaching our receiving waters. Approximately $30 million is planned for additional investment bringing the total investment in compliance with the Trash TMDL to nearly $80 million. Proposition “O,” which was unanimously approved by L.A. voters, has paid for these improvements.

We are projected to achieve full compliance with the Trash TMDL requirements three years ahead of the mandated deadline of 2016 established by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Machado Lake Ecosystem Rehabilitation and Wilmington Drain Multi-Use Project

Good News!

A recommended design has been developed for the Machado Lake – Wilmington Drain Prop O Project.

Download the PDF newsletter here (412kb)

Guide for Developers and Designers

Cabrillo Beach Sand Replacement Project

The Second Phase of the Cabrillo Beach Sand Replacement Project is now under way! The replacment of the sand is part of an ongoing effort between the Port of LA and the Bureau of Sanitation (Watershed Protection Division) to improve water quality at Cabrillo Beach and will assist the City in meeting the Los Angeles Harbor (Cabrillo Beach) Bacteria TMDL [more]

LA Stormwater "Team Effort" Ad Campaign Launched

We’re hitting the streets! A spring time Team Effort advertising campaign will share the Stormwater Program’s vision of a socially-responsible Los Angeles. Bus shelter ads featuring staff from the City’s Environmental Monitoring and Watershed Protection divisions aims to inspire residents to become part of the solution and play a role in keeping their neighborhoods clean [more]

TMDL Implementation Plan Stakeholder Workshop held on March 25th

The Watershed Protection Division hosted a Los Angeles River Metals TMDL Implementation Plan Stakeholder workshop on March 25th at the River Center. This was the first of 3 workshops designed to inform stakeholders and collect information from stakeholders concerning the metals implementation plan for the Los Angeles River watershed within the City of Los Angeles that is due to be submitted to the Regional Water Quality Control Board by the January 11, 2010 TMDL deadline. This workshop discussed the characteristics of the watershed and the implementation plan development process. The next workshop, scheduled for June 2009, will discuss potential green strategies to meet TMDL compliance milestones. A copy of the 1st workshop presentation can be viewed here.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet: It’s the Law. Enforcement began October 1st

For more information click here.

Joint City Task Force to Target Illegal Dumpers in South L.A.

A joint effort by the LAPD, the Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Department of Public Works Bureau of Street Services will be on hunt for perpetrators of Illegal dumping in the South Los Angeles. The task force has identified 50 "chronic" illegal dumping locations scattered amid 224 miles of alleys — all in South Los Angeles area. Illegal dumping is a misdemeanor that can result in a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

New Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plans (SUSMPs)

The SUSMP requirements for Single-Family Hillside Residences, Housing Developments (10 Units and more) Industrial/Commercial Developments, Automotive Service Facilities, Retail Gasoline Outlets, Parking Lots (5,000 sq. ft. and larger), and development projects located in or near Environmentally-Sensistive Areas, have been updated.

Los Angeles River "The Future is Now" Poster

The Stormwater Program Graphics Support has available an outreach poster depicting the possible beneficial uses of a restored Los Angeles River. To receive a copy of this 18”x24” full-color poster, please call (800) 974-9794 and press ”Option 3”, or send an email to Stormwater Public Education

Toys Known to Contain Lead DO NOT Belong in the Trash

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation reminds residents that products such as toys that have been recalled for containing lead-based paint and other hazardous and/or toxic material SHOULD NOT be discarded in the regular trash. Discarding items containing lead-based paint and other hazardous material into the environment, through the regular trash, can bring the material full circle and right back into our homes.

We invite residents to properly dispose of their hazardous materials at our S.A.F.E. Centers located throughout the City [more]

City of Los Angeles’ "High Trash Generation" Areas

This interactive map of the city of Los Angeles shows areas where street trash — whether blown from curbside containers or carelessly discarded — is in heaviest concentration. This map does not include the Los Angeles County area outside of the City’s boundaries.

The City’s Stormwater Program has aggressively targeted these areas to stem the flow of trash that reaches our waterways by installing pollution control devices such as Low Flow Diversions, catch basin screen covers and inserts, netting systems, and other mitigation measures.

Please ensure that waste is properly disposed of and recycle everything you can! For items considered too toxic for your trash, the City of Los Angeles has several convenient locations for the safe disposal of paint, thinners, electronics, bulky items and other household hazardous materials.

City of Los Angeles Launches Plastic Bag Recycling Campaign

The City of Los Angeles was one step closer to becoming a "green city" with the launch of a the Plastic Bags Recycling web site. Plastic bags are one of the most common items found in our storm drain system, and a major source of debris that litters our beaches — and now, you can help get them out of the waste stream..

By returning your plastic bags to over 20 stores and markets conveniently located throughout Los Angeles, you can help improve our environment and make our streets cleaner [more]

Elysian Valley “Green Street” Dedication

One of several projects aimed at revitalizing the Los Angeles River, the Oros Green Street Project marks "…the first time a neighborhood sub-watershed will contribute no pollutants to the Los Angeles River” said Board of Public Works President Cynthia M. Ruiz (shown at left). City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Ed Reyes were also on hand to dedicate the project  [more]

Bureau of Sanitation Employee Johnny Pool Featured on Larry King LIVE!

Wastewater Collection Systems Division employee Johnny Pool guests on the popular CNN cable news network show to explain his "dirty job" in helping keep our oceans clean. Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, was on hand to introduce Johnny to host Larry King [more]

New Westside Water Quality Improvement Project

The City of Los Angeles recently joined the City of Santa Monica, the County of Los Angeles and the State of California to dedicate the Westside Water Quality Improvement Project at Mar Vista Park in Council District 11. The project is a facility designed to treat urban runoff from the east side of the City of Santa Monica and parts of West L.A. [more]

New S.A.F.E. Center Opens in Northeastern Los Angeles/Atwater Area

Now, residents in Los Angeles’ northeastern area will have a safe, convenient method for disposing household chemicals and other toxic materials [more]

The Discovery Channel’s "Dirty Jobs" to Feature the City’s Bureau of Sanitation

A film crew from the hit cable series Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe recently went along with a Bureau of Sanitation crew to clean out one of Los Angeles’ filthiest catch basins [more]

"All the Way to the Ocean" — a Children’s Storybook on Storm Drain Pollution is Released

Featuring richly-illustrated pages throughout, this recently published book by author Joel Harper tells the story about two friends discovering of the harmful effects of ocean pollution. This story deals specifically with storm drain run-off that travels directly into our natural bodies of water [more]

Stormwater Program Inspectors Featured in National Magazine

The Watershed Protection Division’s Enforcement & Inspection Unit were highlighted in the trade publication, Stormwater Magazine, which chronicled their duties in a typical day [more]

City Officials Announce Los Angeles River Revitalization Plans

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined other City officials announcing proposed plans for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River. [more]

Los Angeles River Campaign Launch

City officials, 20 community LA River organizations, and friends publicly acknowledged the forgotten landmark — and launch a public education campaign on the Los Angeles River [more]

Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plans (IRWMPs)

IRWMP drafts were prepared pursuant to Proposition 50, Chapter 8: Ballona Creek, Dominguez Channel, Los Angeles River, and Santa Monica Bay watersheds [more]

L.A. City Council initiates smoking ban on L.A. beaches

The Los Angeles City Council voted to prohibit smoking in City parks consisting of beaches and to prohibit the disposal of tobacco products except in approved containers in City parks consisting of beaches [more]

Dispose Your Chemicals, Leftover Paint, and Used Motor Oil the Right Way!

S.A.F.E. Collection Centers are now ready to accept City of Los Angeles resident’s household "Special Materials." Find out where the one nearest you is located!