Even though La Palma is miles from the Pacific Ocean, your actions may be polluting it without knowing it. The City of La Palma, like most cities in Southern California, has two drainage systems — sanitary sewers and storm drains. The storm drain system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from streets; it is NOT designed to be a waste disposal system. Unlike the sewer system, which carries water from your indoor drains to wastewater treatment plants, the storm drain system releases untreated water into channels, rivers, and ultimately the ocean.
Urban pollutants, such as oil and other automotive fluids, paint, yard and pet wastes, construction debris, pesticides, fertilizers, and cleaners can wind up in the street.
A little water from rain or a garden hose can carry automotive and household toxic materials through the storm drains to the flood control channel and eventually the ocean.
Polluted urban runoff contaminates the ocean and beaches, harms aquatic life, and increases the risk of flooding by clogging gutters and catch basins.
You can help control water contamination by being aware of the sources and the activities that contribute to storm water pollution.