October 31, 2008
With Storm Season Approaching, the County of Los Angeles Advises Residents to Keep Their Street Gutters Clean
Storm season is just around the corner. If left unchecked, the litter, leaves, and automobile fluids that have collected on the street surfaces of our communities will flow along with rainwater, untreated, into water bodies like the Los Angeles River and the ocean.
The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works (Public Works) urges residents to take a few minutes now to sweep up cigarette butts, leaves, lawn clippings, and trash from the street gutters near their homes. Green waste and litter laying in street gutters can travel with rainwater into storm drains, polluting local communities, as well as creeks, rivers, lakes, streams and the ocean.
"Street gutters and storm drains are designed to remove rainwater and prevent flooding," said Public Works Acting Director, Dean D. Efstathiou. "When litter and green waste are allowed to enter the County's storm drain system, there can be serious health and safety consequences for humans and marine life that come in contact with these pollutants."
Nearly 100 million gallons of water flow through the County's storm drain system each day without rain. Rainy days can increase the volume of water within the system to 10 billion gallons per day.
Public Works offers these tips to help prevent stormwater pollution:
-- Don't put anything in street gutters and catch basins but rainwater. It is everyone's responsibility to make sure storm drains and other waterways remain free of pollutants. -- Put trash in its place. Recycle bottles and cans and never drop cigarette butts or other litter on the ground. Street gutters filled with trash and green waste increase neighborhood pollution and clog storm drains, causing street flooding, as well as health and safety issues for residents. -- Pick up after your pet. Animal waste left on the ground can wash into storm drains and contaminates beaches and other water bodies. Proper disposal of pet waste also helps protect pets and humans from disease, and it is the law. Pet owners who disregard this County ordinance can be fined. -- Be smart when you apply pesticides or fertilizers. Do not apply pesticides or fertilizers before it rains, and don't over-water after application. Always read the label and apply only the amount recommended. -- Tie down your truck loads. Trash can easily fly out of truck beds and end up on the street and in gutters. Keep your truck bed litter-free, and always tie down loads of green waste and other materials.
For additional information, call the County's toll-free environmental hotline, 1(888) CLEAN LA, or visit www.888CleanLA.com.
About the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works services include road and flood control system maintenance, construction programs, building and safety services, traffic signals and street signs. The County of Los Angeles Department of 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.
Media Contact: Patricia Condon Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide 310/248-6147 Email Contact
SOURCE: County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works