Urban Runoff

This is a big cistern

Millions of gallons of polluted stormwater will be diverted from entering the Santa Monica Bay by the massive cistern constructed at this advantageous location in the local watershed.


Urban runoff, the surface water from our yards, driveways, and streets that flows through storm drains, is the greatest single source of pollution to the beaches and near-shore waters of the Santa Monica Bay. Unlike sewage and discharges from industrial sources, urban runoff cannot always be adequately treated before it reaches the bay and our beaches. The EPA has a list of many easy things that can be done at home and at work to help to reduce or eliminate this pollution problem. Urban runoff includes dry weather runoff and wet weather flows from rain-storm events. The oversight of urban runoff is called Watershed Management.
By reducing the quantity of runoff and improving the quality of runoff, we lower levels of harmful bacteria, toxics, and other forms of pollutants affecting the bay. Reducing the amount of urban runoff and the amount of pollutants contained in the runoff are essential for the health and safety of our community. A cleaner bay means a healthier marine ecosystem and improved quality of life for residents, and increases Santa Monica’s appeal to visitors and businesses.

Urban Runoff 101: an Introduction

Rain Gutter

California_Watersheds
View Slideshow 

 

Watershed Management

Learn all about Watersheds, what they are, the challenges of watershed management, successful projects in California, and what you can do to get involved. 

Check out the slideshow at:
aquafornia.com
The California Water News Blog
Bait-Tank  


Keeping Butts out of the Bay

Another innovative solution has been implemented on the Santa Monica Pier. The Bait Tank, as it is called, is a simple idea with a big impact: keeping toxic cigarette butts out of our ocean. It's an eye-catching tool that safely collects cigarette butts and also communicates to the public that our world is not an ashtray.

More info: thebaittank.com
 

Curbing the Flow

If you have a spare fifteen minutes and want a comprehensive look at what the City of Santa Monica is doing to manage Urban Runoff, you are invited to watch Curbing the Flow, produced in partnership with CityTV.

More Informative Videos

For some terrific practical information with hands-on visuals about the causes and impacts of urban runoff pollution and potential solutions, check out the RiverSmart videos, produced by the Washington, DC District Department of the Environment. The videos cover different ways you can reduce urban runoff and its pollution using environmentally-responsible, sustainable methods.

RiverSmart videos on YouTube, including a five part series on Stormwater
. Most of these solutions can be replicated in Southern California, though we get less rain and fewer rainy days during the year.

Clean_Beach1
The City of Santa Monica and regional nonprofit Heal the Bay have teamed-up to create 400 new trash cans for Santa Monica State Beach that encourage environmental stewardship.

The colorful artwork includes a QR code linking smart phone users to Santa Monica Beachcast, a mobile website featuring tips on how to keep the beach clean, the latest weather and water-quality conditions, Santa Monica Pier updates, emergency contacts, and an Instagram photo sharing feature. www.smbeachcast.com
As reported by BBC News
Clean_Beach2

Rain Barrel & Cistern Rebate Program

Rain Barrel

Harvesting rainwater protects the Bay from runoff and makes watering your yard fun. 

If that's not enough incentive, what about a generous rebate

Would that help?  

City of Santa Monica © 2014

Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626