Our City is required by Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) to protect public health and preserve the health of the Ballona Creek Watershed, a tributary of Santa Monica Bay.
Beverly Hills and other cities that make up the Ballona Creek Watershed prepared and adopted the Enhanced Watershed Management Plan (EWMP) that provided a framework on how to comply with CWA
The EWMP plan identifies methods and strategies for protecting water quality in the watershed. One of the key methods is to construct Green Streets.
What is a green street? A green street is a street designed to use soil and vegetation to slow down, filter and treat pollutants from urban runoff discharged onto the street, especially during a storm event.
Green Streets typically include swales constructed next to the curb and gutter to capture polluted urban runoff (surface runoff of rainwater created by urbanization) from entering the storm drain system. Green Streets have been used to capture pollutants such as trash, metals and toxic chemicals that are present in urban runoff.
Based on the EWMP plan, Beverly Hills will need to construct Green Streets capable of capturing approximately 39 acre-ft. (12.7 million gallons) of urban runoff per rain event to preserve the health of the watershed.
On May 2015, the State enacted its Emergency Water Conservation Regulations, requiring the City to reduce its water consumption by 32% and prohibiting the irrigation of turf lawn on public medians with potable water.
In response to the State regulation, Beverly Hills adopted Stage D of its Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance. Stage D required residents and businesses to reduce water consumption by 30%, limited irrigation days to two days a week and incorporated prohibitions listed in the State regulation, including prohibiting irrigation of public medians.
Since irrigating the turf lawn on Burton Way median was prohibited, the lawn has deteriorated and is now in need of landscape improvements. Burton Way Median is an ideal site to incorporate green streets features to help the City meet stormwater and drought regulations by protecting water quality and reducing potable water use. The project will showcase water efficient landscape as a potential model for the City’s green streets program, provide information on federal and state stormwater regulations and the City’s overall water efficient goals.
Develop Burton Way Median into the City’s first Green Street to comply with the Federal Clean Water Act.
Burton Way Median will serve as the City’s water efficient garden model. The model garden will preserve existing trees and public art pieces and will support the City’s overarching water conservation goals.