FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is storm water pollution?
  2. Is storm water treated at UCLA before it flows to the ocean?
  3. What is the difference between the storm drain and the sewer system?
  4. What are the effects of storm water pollution?
  5. What can I do to stop storm water pollution?

What is storm water pollution?

Storm water pollution occurs when rain water runs over impervious surfaces like parking lots, streets, and sidewalks. The rain water picks up and concentrates pollutants like dirt, leaves, trash, grease, motor oil, soap and pesticides, which then flows into storm water drains and out to the ocean. Storm water pollution can also occur when liquid or solid debris accidently enter or is deliberately dumped into storm drains.

Is storm water treated at UCLA before it flows to the ocean?

No. Storm water from UCLA flows directly to the Santa Monica Bay untreated.

What is the difference between the storm drain system and the sewer system?

Storm drain systems are designed to prevent flooding. UCLA’s storm drains carry water from rain, sprinklers, and outdoor washing activities directly to the Santa Monica Bay. Water collected by the storm drain system is not treated before reaching the ocean.

Sewer systems are designed to collect and dispose of domestic water. UCLA’s sanitary sewer system carries water from campus sinks, toilets, and showers to the Hyperion Treatment Plant in El Segundo for treatment and release into the Santa Monica Bay.

What are the effects of storm water pollution?

Polluted storm water can kill fish and other wildlife, destroy ecosystems, and harm our health when we swim or fish in Ballona Creek and the Santa Monica Bay.

What can I do to stop storm water pollution?

We can each do our part in preventing storm water pollution:

  • Place trash securely in trash cans to prevent it from ending up in the street or storm drain.
  • Do not pour or throw liquid or solids into the streets or storm drains.
  • Report non-storm water discharge, overflowing or leaking trash cans, and garbage or other debris in or near a catch basin.
  • Clean up outdoor spills with dry methods (e.g. sweeping), instead of hosing the spill into a storm drain.