Stormwater, Urban Runoff

Storm Water Channel

After rain storms, the pollution and debris of nearly 10 million Los Angeles County residents wash out to the ocean and our nearby beaches.

Controlling that “urban runoff” or “stormwater runoff” is something cities throughout California are facing as ever-stricter stormwater mandates are imposed from state and federal agencies.

From used oil to lawn clippings, from pet waste to power washing, if it hits the gutter, it's heading out to the ocean.

Help Lakewood limit urban runoff

Lakewood sits astride five different watersheds, most notably the Los Angeles River in the west and the San Gabriel River which the city straddles at Rynerson Park. Protecting 400 miles of gutters, approximately 1,000 catch basins and miles of storm drains has been an ongoing effort.

The city has published practical guides (see below) to help residents and contractors understand what they can do to help limit urban runoff, including:

  • Pet waste disposal
  • Power washing and biodegradable soaps
  • Concrete dust residue and mortar work runoff
  • Oil and filter recycling
  • Landscaping and gardening  

Here are some easy tips to help:

  • Avoid hosing down your driveway. Sweep instead.
  • Pick up pet waste.
  • Pick up grass clippings, leaves and branches and dispose in green waste containers. Do not sweep or blow trimmings into the street.
  • Eliminate excess use of lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Discuss natural solutions to pest control with your local nursery.
  • Use an oil collection kit when changing your car's oil. Get one at City Hall for free. 
  • Dispose of unused chemicals properly.

Stormwater, urban runoff-related documents

Best Management Practices - Fueling Stations/Auto Repair/Body Shops(PDF, 329KB)
Best Management Practices - Preventing Ocean Pollution: For Businesses(PDF, 385KB)
Best Management Practices - Proper Disposal of Paints, Solvents & Adhesives(PDF, 504KB)
Best Management Practices for Food Service Industry(PDF, 381KB)
Best Management Practices for Pools, Spas and Fountains(PDF, 377KB)
Stormwater and urban runoff: Concrete and mortar project best practices(PDF, 66KB)
Stormwater and urban runoff: Landscaping and gardening(PDF, 383KB)
Stormwater and urban runoff: Oil & filter recycling(PDF, 439KB)
Stormwater and urban runoff: Pet waste and water quality - Doo the right thing(PDF, 62KB)
Stormwater and urban runoff: Power washing brochure, mobile and surface cleaning best practices(PDF, 59KB)