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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation


The 8th Street storm drain lines collect runoff from roughly 1,000 acres of the downtown LA area which is primarily made up of industrial, manufacturing and commercial facilities. These facilities include seafood processing, poultry slaughtering, and fruit and vegetable wholesalers/retailers. In addition, there is a concentrated population of an estimated 3,000 homeless people in the area.

An alarming amount of polluted runoff and residue from these activities is being carried into the storm drain system and consequently, into the Los Angeles River which eventually discharges into the San Pedro Bay.

The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Waste Management Board, will be installing a Low Flow Diversion (LFD) at the 8th Street storm drain discharge point to minimize the amount of trash washing into the River. The 8th Street structure will also convey polluted runoff from this drain to the sewer system during dry weather months.

ACTIONS— The City conducts extensive anti-pollution activities in this area through public education, street sweeping, catch basin cleaning, and enforcement activities.

SOURCES— Rotten fruit and vegetables thrown on sidewalks and streets, leaky trash bins, fecal matter from humans, and toxic chemicals and fluids from surface street vehicles.

CONTAMINENTS— Extremely high levels of bacteria often exceeding those of raw sewage including fecal coliforms, enterococcus, as well as other chemicals mixed with oil, grease, metals and trash.

COST— The two units will have a total cost of $1.4 million. The state’s contribution will be $584,136 and is funded through the state’s Solid Waste Disposal and Co-Disposal Cleanup Program. The City’s Bureau of Sanitation will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of these units.

Discharge from the 6th and 8th Street storm drain enters the Los Angeles River.

A catch basin (below) that had been cleaned out by City Sanitation crews less than one week before, is once again filled with rotten fruit, trash and fecal matter.

Related Links

11_17_00 Press Conference

Interior of storm drain line just before the discharge point into the LA River.