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Stormwater Quality

Stormwater Quality

To report illegal dumping in storm drains, clogged catch basins, hazardous waste spills, sewer back-ups, and water line breaks, call 1-888-CLEAN LA or email the LA County Public Works website.


Water from rainstorms, garden hoses and sprinklers can cause runoff that washes over the ground into the storm sewer system. As the runoff flows, it contacts and carries contaminants such as:

  • Trash;
  • Oil and grease;
  • Toxic metals;
  • Animal waste;
  • Pesticides; and
  • Fertilizers.

The storm sewer system is designed to convey storm water and prevent flooding, but does not treat the water. In the City, the storm sewer system consists of more than 600 catch basins that flow into a network of underground pipes and open channels; the storm sewer system discharges to the Los Angeles River
 , which discharges the untreated water directly to the ocean.  Contamination of the receiving waters is harmful to human health and marine life and may result in beach closures, fines, or prosecutions.