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SMURRF: Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility

Stormwater/urban runoff is considered the number one source of pollution to Santa Monica Bay. At the end of the 90's, many cities across the country are looking for creative ways to treat their stormwater. Santa Monica's Urban Runoff Recycling Facility, otherwise known as the "SMURRF", is one of the finest examples of the future of dealing with polluted stormwater/urban runoff to the maximum extent possible to protect our coastal waters for future generations.  The project is a joint effort of the City of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Monica.
Related Information:

Engineering Report for Dry-Weather Runoff, Reclamation, Storage, Pumping, Distribution, and Nonpotable Water Use Area Facilities pdf
Supplemental Engineering Report for Dry-Weather Runoff, Reclamation, Storage, Pumping, Distribution, and Nonpotable Water Use pdf

SMURRF Water Quality Data (Click on a monitoring report year; then scroll down to Appendices, Appendix E, SMURRF Raw Data).

SMURRF Virtual Tour


Facility Tours

Contact: Neal Shapiro, Office of Sustainability and the Environment
Office:  310-458-2213
Direct: 310-458-8223

Information: Technical Design, Operation & Construction: 
Contact: Curtis Castle, Principal Civil Engineer
phone: 310-458-8234

Information: Daily Operation and Maintenance, Flows, Electrical Use, Costs:
Contact: Danny Gomez, Wastewater Supervisor
phone: 310-458-8532


The SMURRF project is the first facility of its kind in the nation and perhaps the world! This state-of-the-art facility treats dry weather runoff water (from excessive irrigation, spills, construction sites, pool draining, car washing, the washing down of paved areas, and some initial wet weather runoff) that used to go directly into Santa Monica Bay through storm drains, taking with it pollutants such as litter, oil and animal waste -- anything that finds its way onto a surface exposed to runoff.

An average of 500,000 gallons per day (gpd) of urban runoff generated in parts of the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles is treated by conventional and advanced treatment systems at the SMURRF. The runoff water is diverted from the City's two main storm drains (Pier, Pico-Kenter) into the SMURRF and treated to remove pollutants such as trash, sediment, oil, grease, and pathogens. Treatment processes include:
  • Coarse and fine screening to remove trash and debris
  • Dissolved Air Flotation, DAF to remove oil and grease
  • Degritting systems to remove sand and grit
  • Micro-filtration to remove turbidity
  • Ultra-violet (UV) radiation to kill pathogens
Once treated, the water is safe for all landscape irrigation and dual-plumbed systems (buildings plumbed to accept recycled water for the flushing of toilets) as prescribed by the California Department of Health Services. The treated water meets all of California's Title 22 requirements (the level of treatment that the runoff water must meet). Landscape irrigation customers include CalTrans highway landscaping along the Santa Monica Freeway, City of Santa Monica parks, the Woodlawn Cemetery, RAND Corporation, Olympic Blvd. median landscaping and public school grounds. Dual-plumbed customers will include the City of Santa Monica's Public Safety Facility and the Water Garden located at Olympic and Cloverfield.


For the last decade, dealing with stormwater pollution has centered on education: teaching and motivating individuals and businesses to reduce their own "contributions".  Designed with education in mind, the SMURRF will be more than a place to go . . . it is a location through which people will move. This effect is accomplished by an elevated walkway that descends from one end of the site to the other.

Visitors have a complete view of all of the equipment and processes that are used to treat the urban runoff. The siting of the equipment and the technology used was considered equally with the need to make the process of runoff treatment understandable to visitors. The equipment is arranged in sequential order and oriented towards the viewer so that visitors can follow the technology and the process visually. Each piece of equipment is placed on a prominent base and raised to an appropriate viewing level. In several locations, the water moving through the system is "daylighted", or exposed to the open air to allow visitors to clearly see the water treatment process.

The education element of the design is concentrated in the information plazas located at the top overview area and bottom viewing area of the walkway. Art and architectural elements are designed to convey three messages to visitors:
To explain the workings of the facility
To place the facility in the larger context of the Santa Monica urban watershed, and
To inform citizens as to what they can do to decrease or eliminate pollution in urban runoff and from the Santa Monica Bay, and increase or maximize the recharge of rainfall stored in underground deposits or aquifers.
For further information, please contact the Watershed Management Coordinator at (310) 458-8223.


PROJECT MANAGEMENT:  City of Santa Monica
ENGINEERING DESIGN: CH2MHill, Boyle Engineering
ARTIST: Richard Turner
CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT: Black & Veatch Corporation
CONTRACTOR: Pacific Mechanical Corporation
FUNDING: City of Santa Monica, City of Los Angeles, State Water Resources Control Board, Metropolitan Water District, Federal ISTEA Grant Funds, Los Angeles County Proposition "A" Grant
City of Santa Monica © 2018

1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-8411 · TTY (310) 917-6626