The City of Beverly Hills is part of the Ballona Creek Watershed which is a tributary to Santa Monica Bay. The storm drain system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying away rainwater from the streets to the ocean in the fastest manner through a series of pipes and channels underneath the streets. The water that enters the storm drain system is not treated and typically carry pollutants caused by urbanized activities. As a result, polluted waters is carried straight to Ballona Creek and affecting the environment. Pollutants such as trash, bacteria, fertilizers, and chemicals are commonly found in the watershed, especially after a storm event.
The City of Beverly Hills Stormwater Program was established to meet the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The Federal Clean Water Act protects the waters of the United States by requiring private and public agencies to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) to minimize pollutants from entering the storm drain system. The City’s Stormwater Program provides that leadership by educating the community, providing services, participating in regional planning and implementation activities, and investing on improving infrastructure that would reduce the amount of pollutants from entering the storm drain system.
The City of Beverly Hills is currently providing these services that would improve water quality:
- Extensive street sweeping in the commercial and residential areas.
- Weekly sidewalk pressure washing in the commercial district.
- Extensive trash receptacle management program.
- Cleaning catch basins.
- Retrofitting catch basins with screens to prevent trash and debris from entering the storm drain system.
- Inspecting restaurants, gas and car service stations and construction sites that BMPs are in place.
- Eliminating pollution dumping on streets (illicit discharge) and eliminating illegal connections to the storm drain system.
- Recovering sewer overflows from the storm drain system.
- Actively participating in regional efforts by implementing the the Ballona Creek Enhanced Watershed Management Program (EWMP) Plan.
- Educating the community during city-wide events.
As a resident, you, too, can actively help improve water quality by making sure that Only Rain Goes Down the Storm Drain with these simple steps:
- Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.
- Repair auto leaks by taking your vehicle for service.
- Dispose of household hazardous waste, used auto fluids (antifreeze, oil, etc.), and batteries at designated collection or recycling locations in the City or the County of Los Angeles.
- Clean up after your pet.
- Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or unpaved surface.
- Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down areas. Runoff from hosing down your property carries pollutants down the storm drain system.
- Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.
- Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outoors.
- Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection program.
- Dispose of trash in trash receptacles.
- Ask for an inspection from the Public Works Department before draining your pool, jacuzzi or fountain in the curb and gutter.
- If you see someone dumping anything down the drain, report it immediately to the Public Wokrs Department at (310)285-2467 to stop this illegal act.
For additional tips to improve water quality, please contact the Public Works Department at (310)285-2467.
Developers can also improve water quality by implementing BMPs as part of their project.
During contruction, developers are required to implement an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) which has the following requirements:
- Sediment Control BMPs (Silt fence, sand bag barrier, stablized construction site entrance/exit, sediment and dust control)
- Waste Management BMPs (Stockpile manageme, spill prevention control, solid waste management, sanitary and septic waste management)
- Erosion Control BMPs (Scheduling and preservation of existing vegetation)
- Non-Stormwater Management (Water Conservation Practices and dewatering operations)
- For projects that will disturb more than 1-acre, projects are required to implement a statewide Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
New building development projects can help improve water quality by managing their runoff on site by doing the following:
- If feasible, disconnect roof downspouts from the drainage system and redirecting runoff to landscape areas.
- Capturing roof runoff by installing rain barrels or cistern system. Water that is captured can be used to water your landscape.
- Maintain or increase landscape areas. Landscape areas help manage runoff on-site.