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Sunday, December 17 2017 @ 07:16 PM PST

Storm Drain Dumping. It's illegal!

Clean beaches and healthy creeks, rivers, bays, and ocean are important to Los Angeles County. However, many common household activities can lead to water pollution if you’re not careful.

Litter, oil, chemicals and other substances that are left on your yard or driveway can be blown or washed into storm drains that flow to the ocean. Over-watering your lawn and washing your car can also flush materials into the storm drains. Unlike water in sanitary sewers (from sinks and toilets), water in storm drains is not treated.

You would never pour soap, fertilizers or oil into the ocean, so don’t let them enter streets, gutters or storm drains. Follow the easy tips to help prevent water pollution. ...

Household Activities

* Do not rinse spills with water! Sweep outdoor spills and dispose in the trash. For wet spills like oil, apply cat litter or another absorbent material, then sweep and bring to a household hazardous waste collection center (HHWC).
* Securely cover trash cans.
* Take household hazardous waste to a household hazardous waste collection center.
* Store household hazardous waste in closed, labeled containers inside or under a cover.
* Do not hose down your driveway, sidewalk or patio. Sweep up debris and dispose of in trash.
* Always pick up after your pet. Flush waste down the toilet or dispose of in the trash.
* Bathe pets indoors or have them professionally groomed.

Household Hazardous Wastes Include:

* Batteries
* Paint and paint products
* Adhesives
* Drain openers
* Household cleaning products
* Wood and metal cleaners and polishes
* Herbicides and pesticides
* Fungicides/wood preservatives
* Automotive Products (Antifreeze, motor oil, fluids)
* Grease and rust solvents
* Fluorescent lamps
* Mercury (thermometers & thermostats)
* Cathode Ray Tubes (TV/Computer Monitors)
* Pool & Spa Chemicals

Gardening Activities

* Follow directions on pesticides and fertilizers, (measure, do not estimate amounts) and do not use if rain is predicted within 48 hours.
* Water your lawn and garden by hand to control the amount of water you use. Set irrigation systems to reflect seasonal water needs. If water flows off your yard and onto your driveway or sidewalk, your system is over-watering.
* Mulch clippings or leave them on the lawn. If necessary, dispose in a green waste container.
* Cultivate your garden often to control weeds.

Washing and Maintaining Your Car

* Take your car to a commercial car wash whenever possible.
* Choose soaps, cleaners, or detergents labeled “non-toxic,” “phosphate free” or “biodegradable”. Vegetable and citrus-based products are typically safest for the environment, but even these should not be allowed into the storm drain.
* Shake floor mats into a trash can or vacuum to clean.
* Do not use acid-based wheel cleaners and “hose off” engine degreasers at
home. They can be used at a commercial facility, which can properly
process the washwater.
* Do not dump washwater onto your driveway, sidewalk, street, gutter or storm drain. Excess washwater should be disposed of in the sanitary sewers (through a sink, or toilet) or onto an absorbent surface like your lawn.
* Use a nozzle to turn off water when not actively washing down automobile.
* Monitor vehicles for leaks and place pans under leaks. Keep your car well maintained to stop and prevent leaks.
* Use cat litter or other absorbents and sweep to remove any materials deposited by vehicles. Contain sweepings and dispose of at a HHWCC.
* Perform automobile repair and maintenance under a covered area and use drip pans or plastic sheeting to keep spills and waste material from reaching storm drains.
* Never pour oil or antifreeze in the street, gutter or storm drains. Recycle these substances at a service station, HHWCC, or used oil recycling center. For the nearest Used Oil Collection Center call 1-800-CLEANUP or visit

To Report Illegal Dumping into the County's Storm Drain System, Call:
1(888)CLEAN LA, 24 Hours per Day