Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Keep local streets and waterways clean

Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

October 13, 2009                                                                               MEDIA CONTACT:

                                                                                                            Kerjon Lee

                                                                                                            T (626) 458-4348

                                                                                                            M (626) 476-0533



Storm Season Reminder - Help Keep Local Streets and Waterways Clean


            (LOS ANGELES) — With the rainy season fast approaching, now is the time for action to protect the community and the environment from stormwater pollutants. Litter, green waste, and plastic bottles are just a few of the items that can travel with rainwater into storm drains and eventually to receiving waters like the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers and the ocean. To keep local streets and water bodies clean, residents can pick up leaves, trash, or other items in and around street gutters and put them in the appropriate waste or recycle bins.

Street gutters and storm drains are designed to remove rainwater from streets to prevent flooding. The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works and cities throughout the Los Angeles Basin have installed thousands of catch basin screens and other devices to prevent trash, cigarette butts, bottles, and green waste from entering the storm drain system. However, new devices are only one part of a multi-faceted solution for protecting regional water bodies.

"We can all do our part to prevent stormwater pollution during storm season by being active stewards of the environment," said Gail Farber, County Director of Public Works. "It is everyone's responsibility to make sure storm drains and other waterways remain pollutant free."





Residents can help prevent stormwater pollution by:

·         Keeping street gutters and catch basins free of litter. Only rainwater belongs in the storm drains.

·         Putting trash in its place. Recycle bottles and cans, put cigarette butts in an ashtray, and put litter in a trash can.

·         Picking up after pets. Pet waste left on the ground can wash into storm drains and contaminate beaches and other waterways. Pet owners should be aware that improper disposal is against County ordinance and may result in a fine.

·         Applying pesticides or fertilizers sparingly.  Always read the label and apply only the amount suggested. It is not recommended to apply pesticides or fertilizers before it rains.

·         Picking up green waste. Green waste can be used in backyard composting or recycled through residential curbside green waste recycling programs.

To learn more about the County's pollution prevention programs including the SmartGardening Program, call 1(888)CLEAN LA or log on to


About the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works

Public Works' services include road and flood control system maintenance, construction programs, building and safety services, traffic signals and street signs.  Public Works also oversees public education and information programs designed to reach the 10 million residents of the County of Los Angeles with crucial messages about protecting the environment. These programs are part of a comprehensive effort to help residents understand the impact they have on the environment and the steps they can take to protect and improve it.


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