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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation


The Bureau of Sanitation’s Wastewater Collections Division routinely clean out and maintain the city’s approximately 30,000 catch basins annually. Heavy equipment vehicles called Vactor Trucks, are outfitted with strong suction hoses that vacuum trash out of clogged catch basins to prevent street flooding.

Typically consisting of a crew of two, the average catch basin takes 30 minutes to clean. Severely clogged catch basins, usually as a result of illegal dumping, may take several days of repeated cleaning.

The Enhanced Catch Basin Cleaning Project complies with the Amended Consent Decree between the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the State of California, and the City of Los Angeles. The project goals were:
  • determine debris loading rates
  • characterize the debris, and
  • find an optimum cleaning schedule through enhancing catch basin cleaning

(Photo right) Stormwater Enforcement staff received a call on the hot line on an illegal dumping of auto parts into a neighborhood catch basin. Wastewater Collections crew removed over half a ton of auto parts.