Stormwater home page City of Los Angeles home page
      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

Make the Connection poster

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The City of Los Angeles Stormwater Public Education Program is a pollutant-specific outreach effort, designed to reach polluters through a variety of outlets with similar messages – to ensure exposure and increase behavior change. Within this integrated outreach program, each outreach activity supports the others – building a web of public education reaching target audiences with pollution prevention tips.

Program Goals

The goals of the City of Los Angeles Stormwater Public Education Program are:

  • Meet requirements of NPDES Permit:
    1. INCREASE KNOWLEDGE – To measurably increase the knowledge of the target audiences regarding the MS4, the impacts of storm water pollution on receiving waters, and potential solutions to mitigate the problems caused;
    2. CHANGE BEHAVIOR – To measurably change the waste disposal and runoff pollution generation behavior of target audiences by encouraging implementation of appropriate solutions;
    3. REACH A DIVERSE AUDIENCE – To involve and engage socio-economic groups and ethnic communities in Los Angeles County to participate in mitigating the impacts of storm water pollution; and

Target Pollutants

The target pollutants for the Stormwater Public Education Program are identified in the NPDES Permit requirements for the City of Los Angeles as:

  • Trash,
  • Indicator Bacteria,
  • Nutrients (N),
  • Pesticides

Target Audiences

To effectively deliver public education messages and change behavior, the City identified the Program’s target audiences based on each target pollutant. The City evaluated data from two Los Angeles County public surveys, (1997 Stormwater Segmentation Study, and 2000 Stormwater Interim Segmentation Study) and identified the target groups most likely to contribute to each target pollutant and most likely to change their behaviors. The following lists the demographics and sub-groups associated with each target pollutant:


  • “Rubbish Rebels”—males ages 18-25
  • Fast food restaurant customers

Indicator Bacteria

Nutrients (N)


  • “Neat Neighbors”—family-oriented homeowners ages 25-54
  • “Fix-it-Foul-Ups”— do-it-yourselfer males ages 35-65
  • Home gardeners
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Applicable industries are targeted under the City’s Stormwater Inspection Program.

The City’s Used Oil Recycling Public Education Program supplements this business outreach. The target audience for this campaign is:

  • Males ages 25-29 and 45-49

Program Messages

In accordance with the segmentation study research, the Program’s outreach messages for most target audiences focused on simple how-to tips for preventing pollution. Messages were pollutant specific, identifying potential harm of target pollutants on the community/neighborhood and tips for stormwater pollution prevention.

In the case of the “Rubbish Rebels” a separate approach is necessary. The City applied this approach for the used oil and oil filter recycling education efforts. Program messages used a “peer pressure” approach associating the desired behavior with improving personal identity rather than pollution prevention.

Outreach Activities

The Stormwater Education Program strategically implemented outreach activities most likely to reach the target audiences. Whenever possible, these outreach activities were selected to reach residents as they engaged in a behavior related to the target pollutants. This association allowed delivery of pollution prevention messages as residents were thinking about a polluting activity, and increased the possibility of message absorption and adoption.

The Ocean Begins in Your Neighborhood brochure

Tips for a healthy pet and healthier environment

view download

How to Run a Successful Carwash Fundraiser

A guide describing environmentally-safe techniques (as well as) how to make more money in your fundraising efforts.
view | download

What’s the Scoop?

Tips for a healthy pet and healthier environment

view guide download

Clean Neighborhoods Campaign

A handy refrigerator note board with important City numbers of free services
(out of print)

Refrigerator magnet
and pen.
Click on image for more information.
History of the NPDES Permit and the first publication of the
City of Los Angeles’
Stormwater Program.
Out of print