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The Ocean Begins in Your Neighborhood

By using simple good housekeeping practices around your work and home, Los Angeles residents, business owners, and employees can minimize nonpoint source pollution that can enter our receiving waters (such as the Santa Monica and San Pedro bays). But first, a brief explanation on Los Angeles’ two drainage systems:

The two drainage systems in the City of Los Angeles are sewers and storm drains. While the sewer system conveys household wastewater into a sewage treatment plant, the storm drain system was designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from city streets and 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 create stormwater pollution. Some common examples of urban pollutants include oil, automotive fluids, paint, construction debris, yard and pet wastes, pesticides and litter.

Each day, 100 million gallons of polluted urban runoff enter the ocean untreated, leaving toxic chemicals in our surf and over 4,500 tons of trash on our beaches annually.

The City of Los Angeles’ Stormwater Program has produced the following good housekeeping measures that all citizens can implement in their daily activities to reduce the amount of trash, chemicals and other pollutants into our precious beaches and ocean. Residents can also call (800) 974-9794 to receive other educational materials.