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After a rainstorm, have you ever watched a leaf float down the gutter and out of sight? Have you ever wondered where it goes? Well, a leaf or anything else that goes into a storm water drain in Monrovia can make an incredible journey all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The leaf using the long and complex storm drain system can be carried by rainwater away from our homes, streets and businesses.

Unlike the sewer system, which carries water from indoor drains to water treatment plants, the storm water drain system releases water into the ocean untreated. This means any trash or hazardous chemicals which are dumped into the storm drain system in Monrovia can pollute our important water resources, beaches and marine wildlife along the coast. Urban runoff pollution contaminates the ocean, closes beaches, harms aquatic life and increases the risk of inland flooding by clogging gutters and catch basins. 100 million gallons of polluted urban runoff enters the Pacific Ocean untreated each day, leaving toxic chemicals in our surf and tons of trash on our beaches.

What can you do to prevent storm water pollution?

  • Perform routine maintenance on vehicles to prevent leaks from oil and other car fluids.
  • Keep absorbent materials handy to allow prompt cleanup of all spills. Don't hose down oil spills into gutters or drains.
  • Wash vehicles with biodegradable, phosphate-free detergents. Use a bucket (not a running hose) to wash and rinse your car to conserve water.
  • Properly dispose of used oil, hydraulic transmission, and radiator fluids at a Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
  • Don't blow or rake leaves into streets, gutters, or storm drains.
  • Use organic or non-toxic fertilizers. Don't over fertilize and don't fertilize near ditches, streams, or other water bodies.
  • Use non-toxic pesticide alternatives whenever possible.
  • Never clean paintbrushes or rinse paint containers into a street, gutter, or storm drain.

State and Local Stormwater Requirements

On November 8, 2012 the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Permit (MS4 Permit) for the County of Los Angeles was adopted, and the permit became effective on December 28, 2012.  The MS4 Permit incorporates several existing and new provisions in which the city is required to comply. To fulfill the requirements of the MS4 Permit, the City of Monrovia is a participant in the Rio Hondo/San Gabriel River Water Quality Group comprised of the cities of Arcadia, Bradbury, Duarte, Monrovia, Sierra Madre and the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District.

Visit the California Water Boards-Los Angeles (Region 4) Rio Hondo/San Gabriel River Watershed Management Group website for documents pertaining to the MS4 Permit.

If you have any questions regarding Monrovia's Stormwater Program, please contact the Public Services Department at (626) 932-5575.