Good things usually come in threes, but great things come in fours! Between 2019 and 2020, the LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) won four awards for its immense efforts in stormwater programs that improve water quality and for its commitment to public health and environmental protection. This is only the start of continuous work from LASAN for improving sustainability in the City of Los Angeles. Want to know more about the awards we were acknowledged for? Keep reading to learn how LASAN is working to help slow down the effects of climate change in our communities.
LASAN was recognized for the second year in a row this fall by The Utility of the Future Today Recognition Program. In particular, LASAN was awarded for its work in ‘Watershed Stewardship’. This area of performance refers to the investments and work LASAN has done to improve water flow, expand integrated wastewater infrastructure and manage stormwater, all with the overarching aim of improving water quality in our beloved communities.
The program awarding facilities with this national recognition was launched by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), The Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the WasteReuse Association, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). LASAN received recognition from them on Oct. 9, during WEFTEC Connect, a virtual water quality event.
The Storm Water Solutions (SWS) 2019 Top Project List included LASAN’s Van Nuys Blvd Green Street Project (Project), which is a part of the Green Streets Initiative (GSI) Program. The project is placed within the Upper Los Angeles River watershed and consists of green stormwater infrastructure at various locations in the Pacoima area of the City of Los Angeles.
This project, which was designed to capture stormwater and urban runoff, consists of 21 dry wells, nine bioswales and 11 porous concrete gutters. This new green infrastructure meets provisions of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Permit and is “designed to reduce localized flooding, remove pollutants, such as trash, metals and bacteria and increase groundwater recharge in the San Fernando Groundwater Basin, which is currently at less than 50% of its storage capacity”. In addition, the Project provided tree planting for additional greening throughout the neighborhood. This Project aligns with the mayor’s environment-friendly plans to increase the long term sustainability of local bodies of water and reduce the effects of climate change.
With this GSI Program in place, the City’s local water supply can now increase during a severe drought emergency. Based on research conducted during the planning period of the GSI Program, this program is expected to capture around 95 acre feet of stormwater per year, which will allow LASAN to recharge the local wellspring and provide around a year’s worth of water to over 175 single-family homes!
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) granted two of LASAN’s reclamation plants with Peak Performance awards. These awards acknowledge agency facilities, that are members of the NACWA, who are committed to complying with environmental laws, regulations, standards, and requirements that make up site permits. The LASAN couldn’t be prouder of the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, which won the 2019 Peak Performance Gold Award. This award was granted to Hyperion for going an entire calendar year without any permit violations!
In addition, the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant (TIWRP) was also honored by the NACWA with the 2019 Silver Peak Performance Award. TIWRP was recognized for their outstanding achievement of less than six permit violations in a calendar year as they improved water quality. TIWRP committed to protecting the health of our communities and always keeping the environment in mind while adhering to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and additional permits.
Stormwater runoff can lead to pollutants entering the stormwater conveyance system and the receiving body of water including our local rivers and oceans. Improving the water quality has multiple benefits for our environment. It amplifies beneficial and recreational uses of the receiving water bodies, protects the ecosystem of local wildlife life and reduces public health and safety risks.
The LASAN would like to thank their facilities’ staff, partners and local eco-activists who work hard and remain dedicated to protect the public health and environment in the beautiful City of Los Angeles. Without the diligence of a community banding together for a greater cause, these four environmental awards wouldn’t have been possible. Protecting our environment by increasing our stormwater pollution prevention efforts and improving local water quality is a vitally important task for LASAN, all Angelenos and for our future generations.
Would you like to learn more about LASAN’s green infrastructure initiatives? Email us at email@example.com.