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Urban Runoff Urban Runoff
Case Studies

Pico Branch Library

Completed in 2014, the Pico Branch Library is Santa Monica’s first municipal building to be certified LEED Platinum by the US Green Building Council. The project demonstrates the feasibility of harvesting rooftop rainwater for direct onsite indoor use: toilet and urinal flushing.

Project Details:



Los Amigos Park Stormwater Harvesting and Direct Use Project

The project involves diverting up to 550,000 gallons of water from the storm drain pipe adjacent to the park. The water will be stored and treated to ensure safe use for irrigating the playing fields and for indoor toilet flushing in the park restrooms.

Project Details:
Los Amigos Stormwater Project


In-Line Parkway Infiltration

This innovative strategy of harvesting stormwater, by inserting an in-line treatment and infiltration system into an existing storm drain, can be replicated in any community due to its simplicity and unobtrusive design placing beneath streets and parkways.

Project Details:
InLine Infiltration


In-Line Catch Basin w/ Augured Pit

This innovative strategy of harvesting stormwater, by inserting an in-line treatment and infiltration system into an existing storm drain, can be replicated in any community due to its simplicity and unobtrusive design placing beneath streets and parkways.

Project Details:
InLine CatchBasin


Bicknell Avenue Green Street

Reopened in May 2009, the 100 block of Bicknell Avenue has been designed to direct water runoff from the street into depressed planted areas (bioswales) and underground infiltration basins to protect the water quality of the Santa Monica Bay.

Project Details:


Beach Green

The Beach Green demonstration project is an exciting example of how communities across the country, often cramped for space, can transform existing parking lots into parks and open space vital to sustainable communities; while losing no parking spots, and adding water quality protections from polluted rainwater runoff. 

Project Details:
 Beach Green Thumb


San Vicente Blvd at Ocean Ave

With funding from a grant from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, this project demonstrates the feasibility of using runoff to recharge groundwater for future extraction or store the runoff in cisterns for direct reuse, and reduce dependence on imported water.

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Montana Ave at Ocean Ave / Wilshire Blvd at Ocean Ave

Opened in the spring of 2007 and early 2008, the Montana Ave and Wilshire Blvd Sub-Watershed Runoff Quality Improvement Projects treat to the maximum extent practicable urban runoff from the north-central portions of the City of Santa Monica, which run from the west to east borders.

Project Details:



Santa Monica Main Library

601 Santa Monica Blvd

Runoff from roofs, decks and surface parking areas is collected and piped through 17 downspout filters before entering the 200,000 gallon concrete cistern BMP, which is located beneath the underground parking structure. Downspout filters are capable of removing some pollutants. Stored water is pumped to the library's sub-surface irrigation system.

Project Details:



502 Colorado Ave

With little open space available at this city-owned multi-family housing project, a BMP was installed in the adjacent alley. All runoff flows into a storage chamber, which is composed of five rows of plastic devices, and extends the entire width and length of the alley adjacent to the building.
Project Details:



Virginia Avenue Park

Reopened in December 2005, Virginia Avenue Park has several BMPs in use. These include Bay Boxes (Santa Monica's term for a filtering or infiltration device that serves to protect the water quality of the Santa Monica Bay) installed along the park perimeter, as well as in other locations near impermeable surfaces like the parking lots.

Project Details:



Airport Park

3201 Airport Avenue

Opened in 2007, Airport Park was able to implement many BMPs in its construction. The north and south parking losts use permeable asphalt, which allows runoff to pass through the permeable hard surface and in to the sub-surface for infiltration, where soil ecology acts as an effective natural filter.

Project Details:



Westside Water Quality Improvement Project

McLaughlin Avenue/ Palms Blvd : Mar Vista Park : Los Angeles

This project, which operates on gravity flow alone, is capable of treating all dry weather runoff up to 3 cubic feet per second (cfs) and stormwater runoff up to 33 cfs in a 24-hour period. Runoff is diverted out of the Sawtelle Channel by a concrete "speed bump" diversion weir in the floor of the culvert and into the upstream diversion vault, which then flows into a 36 inch diversion pipe to a transverse diversion weir that leads to several BMPs.

Project Details:



Big Blue Bus Facility

612 Colorado Avenue

The upgrades incorporated Low Impact Development strategies with Best Management Practices (BMPs) to harvest onsite stormwater for proprietary treatment and infiltration. The site was large and open enough to allow for some notable sub-surface treatment and infiltration devices - three separate, large infiltration zones were incorporated into the site in order to capture runoff from roofs and surface parking areas.

Project Details:

Download all the Project information sheets in one file here:
Last updated: Wednesday, 01/17/2018
ARCSA is your rainwater harvesting resource.  Visit for listing of installers, to learn how to become certified to become an installer or inspector and more.    


Rain Harvest Rebate Program

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

If that's not enough incentive, how about receiving a generous rebate?  


Matrix 2.0 Alternative Water Guidelines 

 Matrix Document Banner
download (pdf)
New roadmap for decentralized, alternate water supplies - indoor and outdoor non-potable water regulations streamlined for rainwater, graywater, stormwater, blackwater use.
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Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
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