Stormwater – Watershed

Lomita is part of the Dominguez Channel Watershed Group. Runoff and stormwater in Lomita drains to Machado Lake and ultimately to the ocean. The LA Stormwater Partners site provides more information about the watershed, monitoring, and regional efforts.

Stormwater – Pollution Prevention

Stormwater is water from rain that does not soak into the ground. It flows over paved areas like streets, sidewalks, and parking lots, as well as roofs and sloped lawns. As it flows, the stormwater collects and carries pollutants such as litter, pet waste, pesticides, fertilizers, and motor oil. This “toxic soup” then flows through a massive system of pipes and channels directly into our local waterways and the ocean.

How to prevent stormwater pollution:

The storm drain system and sanitary sewer system are both large conveyance systems of underground pipes. This leads to the misconception that the systems are one and the same. They are in fact separate and serve different purposes.

The sanitary sewer system transports domestic sewage to a treatment plant. Domestic sewage includes wastewater from household and commercial plumbing, such as toilets, showers, and sinks. In Lomita, sewage travels from private plumbing pipes into the City’s sanitary sewer system, which eventually carries it to the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in the City of Carson. There, contaminants are removed from the sewage through a multi-stage process, which includes settling, filtering, and biological and chemical treatment. The treated water is then discharged into local waterways or used as reclaimed water.

The storm drain system, on the other hand, was designed to prevent cities from flooding. Its purpose is to quickly transport rain runoff (stormwater) away from the city and into the nearest waterway, without treatment. And so, any pollution carried by stormwater also enters our waterways untreated.

Infographic of pipes and drainage from a neighborhood

In the City of Lomita, stormwater enters the local storm drain system, which drains primarily to Machado Lake, but also into Los Angeles Harbor.

Stormwater pollution can have an adverse impact on our community’s health and environment as well as its local waterways and the ocean.

Health and Environment

Stormwater pollution poses a health threat to people who swim or fish in the ocean. The high amount of bacteria that a rain event may introduce into the ocean can cause beach closures. This impacts recreational uses for the ocean and our local waterways, such as swimming, beach tourism, fishing, and boating.
Stormwater pollution can be toxic to marine life in the ocean and our waterways. Toxic pollutants can also be passed along the food chain. This can result in the contamination of locally caught seafood, making it unsafe for consumption.

Local Community

Local storm drains clogged with litter and debris can impact the local community. These “nests” of trash and debris can attract pests and rodents, create foul odors, clog the storm drain system, and cause flooding. In addition, clogged catch basins are unsightly and can affect neighborhood aesthetics and property values.

Illegal Dumping and Spill Reporting Hotline

To report illegal dumping or a spill, please call either the City’s Public Works Department or Code Enforcement Officer at (310)325-7110 or the Los Angeles County 24-Hour Water Pollution Reporting Hotline at 1-888-CLEAN-LA (1-888-253-2652)