Tips for Keeping our Beaches Clean This Summer
Tips for Keeping our Beaches Clean This Summer Image

Did you know that urban runoff still occurs without rain? While the rainy months do increase the amount of stormwater that flows through our local waterways, approximately 100 million gallons of untreated water flows from Southern California streets to the ocean every day during dry months. But if the clouds aren’t producing the water, who is?

 

The water comes from you and me.

 

Despite drought conditions, water consumption is up. According to The Guardian, Californians used 77 gallons of water per person per day in March. This is the most water Californians have used in March since 2015. Water used outside the house, like watering lawns or giving your vehicle a wash in the summer sun, has the potential to flow into our storm drains just like stormwater. Even if the water is clean to begin with, it can pick up chemicals and debris on the street before heading into the storm drain.

 

Even though there’s not as much water flowing through the storm drains during the dry months, droughts cause lower water levels in our waterways, leading to a higher concentration of pollutants. This is not ideal for a swim at the beach. In preparation for the dry summer months ahead, follow these pollution prevention tips!

 

Home and Gardening Tips

  1. Visit your local nursery to learn about native plants and how you can reduce or eliminate your lawn size
  2. Opt for soil high in organic content, like compost, because it retains more water than other soils
  3. Mulch your garden using the free mulch LA Sanitation & Environment available to city residents and can be found at multiple locations throughout LA
  4. Install a drip irrigation system
  5. Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of using a hose

Automotive Do-It-Yourselfer Tips

  1. Go to a car wash where the water is captured and reused onsite
  2. Keep your car well maintained by having leaks fixed promptly 
  3. If you do change your vehicle’s fluids, use a drip pan to collect any spills and soak up any accidental spills with an absorbent materials such as kitty litter or sawdust and dispose of it properly
  4. Recycle used motor oil and unwanted automotive fluids at one of seven local LA Sanitation & Environment-sponsored SAFE Centers
  5. Keep a trash bag in your vehicle and never throw trash out of your car window

 

Polluted dry weather urban runoff is preventable! Do your part to both reduce the amount of urban runoff flowing through our local waterways and keep pollutants completely out of our local waterways. You’ll be keeping your local neighborhood and LA’s creeks, rivers and beaches clean for everyone to enjoy this summer. 

Have further questions or concerns? Feel free to reach out to us lastormwater@lacity.org.

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