Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Annual Cleaning of the Storm Drain Filters Near Palisades Park Brings Big Trucks to Santa Monica Cliffs

"We're clearing trash that's found its way to the storm drain terminus. We clean it every September."

 

September 28, 2022

Juan explains the City's annual storm drain cleaning.

9.22.22: Have you wondered what the trucks are about in Palisades Park? The long ones with the hoses that go into a storm drain and down. 90 feet to the base of the world famous cliffs.

Those magnificent young men with their suction machines are clearing out the storm drains so that after the next rainstorm, less trash will make it out to sea. "We're the last line of defense before the ocean ecology," said Juan.

"There's a guy 90 feet down, below that grate," he said pointing. "He's actually clearing trash that's found its way to the storm drain terminus. We clean it every September," he added.

A storm drain, explains Wikipedia, is infrastructure designed to drain excess rain and ground water from impervious surfaces such as paved streets, car parks, parking lots, footpaths, sidewalks, and roofs. Storm drains vary in design from small residential dry wells to large municipal systems.

The shaft goes down 90 feet, and there is a worker at the bottom of it during the cleaning.

Drains receive water from street gutters on most motorways, freeways and other busy roads, as well as towns in areas with heavy rainfall that leads to flooding, and coastal towns with regular storms. Even gutters from houses and buildings can connect to the storm drain. Many storm drainage systems are gravity sewers that drain untreated storm water into rivers or streams-so it is unacceptable to pour hazardous substances into the drains.

Storm drains sometimes cannot manage the quantity of rain that falls in heavy rains or storms. Inundated drains can cause basement and street flooding. Many areas require detention tanks inside a property that temporarily hold runoff in heavy rains and restrict outlet flow to the public sewer. This reduces the risk of overwhelming the public sewer. Some storm drains mix stormwater (rainwater) with sewage, either intentionally in the case of combined sewers, or unintentionally. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_drain

 

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