Stormwater Pollution

What is Stormwater Pollution?

Stormwater pollution occurs when rainfall, especially the "1st flush," carries urban pollutants through the storm drain system into the ocean. The pollutants in this urban runoff include:

  • Litter
  • Oil and other automotive fluid
  • Paint and construction debris
  • Pet waste
  • Yard waste and pesticides

Each day 100 million gallons of polluted urban runoff enter the ocean untreated, leaving toxic chemicals in our surf and tons of trash in our beaches.

La Habra Drainage Systems

All of La Habra's rainwater runoff drains into the Coyote Creek, which is a principal tributary of the San Gabriel River. The San Gabriel River empties into the Pacific Ocean in Seal Beach. If many residents are not aware that La Habra has 2 drainage systems:

  • Sanitary Sewers: These drain the pipes connected to your sinks, bathrooms, washing machines, etc. They carry waste to a sewage treatment plant where the water is cleaned and then reused or discharged into the ocean away from beaches.
  • Storm Drain System: The storm drain system begins at the curb gutter in the street. The sole purpose of the storm drains is to quickly carry rainwater out to the ocean in order to prevent flooding. Thus the water is not treated or filtered like the waste in the sanitary sewer system. As a result, any urban pollution entering the system is discharged directly to the ocean.

NPDES Program Goals

The goal of the City of La Habra's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program is to prevent pollution from being discharged into Coyote Creek and ultimately into the Pacific Ocean. As a result of poor practices, carelessness, and even lack of knowledge, construction projects can be a major source of pollution.

Representation of the city underground drainage systems for residential and commercial property