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Storm Water Pollution A Threat to Ocean Health Gina Scachetti, B.S. Biological Sciences Torrance Fire Department, NPDES Inspector.

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Presentation on theme: "Storm Water Pollution A Threat to Ocean Health Gina Scachetti, B.S. Biological Sciences Torrance Fire Department, NPDES Inspector."— Presentation transcript:

1 Storm Water Pollution A Threat to Ocean Health Gina Scachetti, B.S. Biological Sciences Torrance Fire Department, NPDES Inspector

2 Storm Water Pollution Keeping our oceans clean for future generations urfrider.htm urfrider.htm

3 What is the Water Cycle? The Water Cycle is the continuous movement of water on, above, or below the ground and in different phases (solid as ice, liquid, and gas). The Water Cycle is a true cycle- there is no beginning or end.


5 What is a Watershed? A watershed is an area of land that catches rain and snow. This rain and snow drains into a common waterway (marsh, stream, river, lake, groundwater, or ocean). Homes, farms, ranches, forests, small towns, big cities, and more can make up a watershed.

6 Watershed Example

7 Parts of a Watershed When rain or snow falls, it is collected at the beginning of streams and rivers called headwaters. These headwaters are usually found in mountains and/or hills. From the headwaters, water flows down mountains, through valleys, and empties into coastal waters. As water flows from the mountains to the sea, water passes through areas of farming, housing, businesses, recreation, and conservation. Water picks up pollutants as it passes through these areas.

8 Do We Live in a Watershed? YES! The Los Angeles Region is divided into 4 watersheds: the Los Angeles River Watershed, the Santa Monica Bay (Upper and Lower) Watershed, the Ballona Creek Watershed, and the Dominguez Channel Watershed.

9 Santa Monica, LA River, Ballona Creek, and Dominguez Channel Watersheds

10 Torrance is Located in 2 Watersheds Santa Monica Bay Watershed: Includes Ballona Wetlands, Malaga Cove, Redondo Beach, Torrance Beach, Venice Beach and more… Dominguez Channel Watershed: Includes Dominguez Channel, Long Beach Harbor, LA Harbor, Cabrillo Beach, and more…


12 How Do People Impact a Watershed?

13 What is Storm Water Pollution? Stormwater Pollution occurs when rain or snow flows over the ground and picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other types of pollutants. This polluted rain or snow can then enter storm drains and flow directly into a stream, river, lake, wetland, or ocean.

14 What is Non-Storm Water Pollution? Any water that is not rain water or snow melt. Such as: Garden hoses Car washing, and Other activities that pick up pollutants from streets, parking lots, driveways, and yards and carries them through the storm drain system and straight to the ocean

15 Types of Pollutants What is a pollutant and what types of pollutants are found in my community and local beach?

16 What is a Pollutant? A pollutant is any substance introduced into the environment that adversely affects the usefulness of resources or the health of humans, animals, or ecosystems.

17 What Types of Pollutants are Found in My Community and Local Beaches? Marine Debris: plastics, glass, metals, wood Sediments: from construction sites, fields, unvegetated areas Excess Nutrients: fertilizers, animal waste (i.e. like your dog),sewage, yard waste (leaves and grass clippings) Chemicals: pesticides, detergents (soap), oil and grease, metals, acids Pathogens: bacteria and viruses

18 Where do these Pollutants come from?

19 Why are These Pollutants Bad for the Environment?

20 Marine Debris can choke, suffocate, disable, and kill aquatic life

21 Sediment can cloud water and make it difficult for plants to grow and fish to lay eggs.

22 Excess nutrients can cause algal blooms that can kill aquatic plants, fish, and other aquatic animals

23 Solvents, pesticides, paint, oil, and other chemicals can cause fish to become toxic. People can become sick from eating these toxic fish.

24 Bacteria and viruses can create health hazards resulting in beach closures.

25 Sources of Pollutants Where do these pollutants come from?

26 What is Point Source Pollution? Point Source Pollution: Pollution that comes out of a pipe From a business or a home as wastewater or sewage Anything that goes down a sewer drain (sink, toilet, floor drain), travels through pipes to a wastewater treatment plant, and is discharged from a pipe into a stream, river, lake, or ocean

27 Point Source Pollution At My Home: Every time I wash my hands, brush my teeth, do the dishes, take a bath, go to the bathroom, etc. I am polluting the water. But, this water travels from my home through pipes to a sewage treatment plant. At the plant the water is treated and almost all of the pollutants are taken out. Then the water goes from the sewage plant through another pipe and is dumped in the ocean.

28 Point Source Pollution

29 What is Non-Point Source Pollution (NPS)? Non-Point Source Pollution : Many sources of pollution from all over the community Anything on the ground at businesses, homes,or roads that gets washed off during rain Largest source of stormwater pollution

30 How Does My Community Contribute to NPS Pollution?

31 How Can Businesses Prevent NPS Pollution?

32 Restaurants should… Dump their mop water in a sink or toilet Keep dumpster areas clean by sweeping Wash their floor mats inside the restaurant

33 Auto Repair Shops, Dealerships, and Gas Stations Should… Use drip pans to catch spills Recycle all oil, coolant, etc. Store all liquids on secondary containment or undercover

34 How Do My Family and I Contribute to NPS Pollution?

35 What Can I Do to Prevent NPS Pollution?

36 Car Washing Wash the car on a grassed area rather than on the street or driveway. This way all the soap and dirt will not run into the storm drain. OR Take your car to a car wash

37 Automotive If changing fluids (like oil), take the waste oil to a local hazardous waste drop off center. Do not pour the oil down a storm drain. Keep your car in good condition. If your car is leaking place a drip pan underneath the leak and clean the spilled oil with kitty litter. Take old car batteries to the local hazardous waste drop off center.

38 Lawn and Garden Care Use a broom or rake to clean up lawn clippings and leaves (Do not hose them into the street). Recycle lawn clippings and leaves- use as compost or mulch Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly and as directed. Do not use them before a rain. Do not over water your lawn. Try a soaker hose instead of sprinklers.

39 Trash Throw all trash that can’t be recycled in a trash can or bin. Whenever possible, turn trash into useful products and buy recycled products.

40 Paint Paint Brushes: Rinse water-based paints in a sink and clean oil-based paints with paint thinner. Or rinse in the garden or lawn Take the used thinner to a local hazardous waste collection. Do not wash brushes in the street.

41 Pet Waste Pick up your pet’s droppings. Droppings left on the street can get washed into the ocean. Pet waste has harmful bacteria and provides excess nutrients to waterways. Wash your pets in a sink, tub, or on the grass.

42 Household Cleaning Products Household cleaning products, like cleaners, insect spray, and weed killers, can be toxic if washed into the coast. Try to buy non-toxic chemicals and clean up spills with absorbent. Dispose of at a local hazardous waste collection center.

43 Swimming Pools and Spas When draining swimming pools, make sure water drains to the sewer system because chlorine is harmful to the aquatic environment. Or check with the city for guidelines on the disposal of pool water to the storm drain system.

44 The Law Clean Water Act of 1972- Objective is “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s Water”; may not discharge pollutants to the “waters of the United States” National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)- Requires industries, municipalities, and construction permits for discharges to the storm drain system. Coastal Zone Reauthorization Amendments of 1990- Requires states to put together non-point source pollution control programs.

45 Don’t Trash Our Future

46 Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Help?

47 Know Your Coast! Do you know what habitats we have along the southern California coast and what kinds of animals live in those waters? By knowing the habitats and the animals, you understand how we are destroying their homes. Also, you see that it is very important for us to watch what we do so that we do not further injure the environment.

48 Local Habitat and Animal Hotspots Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve Madrona Marsh Abalone Cove Shoreline Park index.cfm Bolsa Chica Wetlands Upper Newport Bay ; San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary Corona Del Mar (tide pools)

49 GET INVOLVED!!!! One of the best ways to learn and to help is by getting involved by volunteering at local environmental organizations.

50 Local Organizations These are some of my favorites. Aquarium of the Pacific Surfrider Foundation South Bay Chapter SEA Lab Heal the Bay California Coastal Commission Ocean Institute Camp SEA Lab

51 Become a California Coastal Steward The California Coastal Commission has put together a pledge. Anyone of any age can pledge to improve the environment and become a CA Coastal Steward. It is very simple. First, go to the following website. Select 5 action items that you will pledge to accomplish. When you are finished you will fill out the contact information and submit the form via the internet. When you have completed all the items on your action list, you send the list back to the CA Coastal Commission and they will send you a free tote bag and participation certificate. And you will have done something good for the environment.

52 Want To Learn More? Here are some sites with puzzles, interactive games, and more information on stormwater pollution for kids: p p

53 Wyland Ocean Challenge

54 And Remember….

55 No Dumping- It All Ends Up in the Rivers, Lakes, Streams, and Oceans and…


57 References California Coastal Commission. Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds: Science Activity Guide. p.123-125, 126-130, 138-140, 142-145 California Coastal Commission. Become a Coastal Steward. 6/14/ California Stormwater Quality Association. Stormwater Best Management Practices Handbook, Municipal- Source Control Fact Sheets. Jan 2003. City of Los Angeles. Glossary of Storm Water Terms. 5/25/ City of Los Angeles. Stormwater BMPs: Automotive Repair and Industry. 1/18/05. City of Los Angeles. Stormwater BMPS: Restaurant and Food Industry. 1/18/05. City of Los Angeles. Tips To Prevent Storm Water Pollution. 5/25/ City of Los Angeles. What is a Watershed?. 1/18/ Orange County Urban Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program Handout. 5/17/05. U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Coastal Water Factoids: Oceans and Coastal Protection: Your Coastal Watershed. 4/19/

58 References Continued… U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Coastal Water Factoids: Protecting Coastal Waters from Non-point Source Pollution. www.epa.go/owow/oceans/factsheets.html 5/17/05.www.epa.go/owow/oceans/factsheets.html U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. After the Storm: A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Stormwater. 4/20/05. University of Purdue. What is a Watershed?. 6/3/ USGS The Water Cycle 6/1/05. Wyland Ocean Challenge. 6/29/

59 Pictures Slide 3 The Water Cycle Slide 4 Example of a Watershed Slide 5 Example of a Watershed Slide 8 L.A. County Watersheds Slide 15 Oil Slick on Water Slide 17 Pollutant Types Slide 17 Construction Runoff Slide 17 Pipe Discharge Slide 19 Sea Lion in Trash Slide 19 Elephant Seal in Fishing Line Slide 19 Seal in Plastics Slide 20 Cloudy Water Slide 20 Salmon Slide 20 Sediment in Creek Slide 20 Sediment From Pipe Slide 21 Fish Kills Slide 21 Hong Kong Red Tide Slide 22 Shellfish Sign Slide 22 Run-off From Field Slide 22 Cuyahoga River Fire of 1969

60 Pictures Continued Slide 22 Paint Can Sm Slide 23 Cow NPS Slide 23 Fecal Coliform Slide 23 Beach Closure Signs Slide 25 Pollution Dumping Into Pond Slide 27 Point Source Pollution www.lakecountyohio?soil/pollution.htmwww.lakecountyohio?soil/pollution.htm Slide 27 Point Source Pollution Slide 28 Trash on Skidrow in LA Slide 28 Oil Flowing Into Storm Drain Slide 31 BMPs for Restaurants and Food Industry Slide 32 BMPs for Auto Service Shops Slide 35 Car Washing Slide 35 Car Washing Slide 36 Car Leaking Oil Slide 37 Lawn and Garden Care Slide 38 Trash in Iron Grates Slide 38 Rat Picture Slide 39 Paint Brush and People Painting Pictures Slide 40 Pet Waste

61 Pictures Continued and Movies Slide 41 Household Cleaning Products Slide 42 Swimming Pool Picture Slide 52 Wyland Ocean Challenge Slide 55 Storm Drain Stencil Slide 57 Girls Participating in Beach Clean-up Movies Shifting Baselines in the Surf Stormwater and You: Solutions for the 21 st Century; Watersheds: General Introduction; Don’t Trash Our Future

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