Saving rain runoff in Los Angeles is as easy as a traffic median – NBC Los Angeles


Every time it rains, Angelenos might think: are we saving some of that rainwater?

Thursday’s storm brought much needed precipitation, but with an onset drought, many Southern California residents are wondering if we took advantage of it.

Some of Thursday’s stormwater was wasted in concrete drainage channels. Otherwise, the cool runoff water carried waste and other pollutants ultimately to the sea.

There is a better way – and Esther Woo can show it to you.

“So the water comes in that way, and once it gets to the curb, it goes into the biological ditch,” Woo, an engineer with LA Sanitation and Environment, explained as she stood. above an otherwise normal traffic median with landscaping.

Woo showcased the recently completed Green Street project in North Hollywood along Victory Boulevard east of Goodland in the Valley Glen neighborhood. The runoff captured on the island with vegetation and in underground chambers under the causeway seeps into the ground and replenishes the groundwater below which will one day become potable water.

“By diverting water from the streets. The water would otherwise have gone into the storm drain and the LA River, and straight into the ocean,” she said.

The Green Street project medians look like a normal traffic median, but with a slope in the middle of the landscaping. This not only captures water, but also prevents flooding in the streets.

Thursday’s front didn’t bring enough rain to be a real test, but Woo said this one project – and more to come – is designed to collect enough water to cover 100 acres per foot of depth. in one year.

Or in other words:

“That’s about 50 Olympic size swimming pools a year. I would say that’s a significant amount,” she said. “Every drop counts.”

Indeed, with much of California in the throes of drought, rainfall from the most recent storm doesn’t change that, but it does provide everyone with an easy opportunity to conserve water in a garden.

“The first thing you can do is turn off your irrigation system,” said Krista Guerrero, MWD Resource Specialist.

Here’s how much rain the storm brought to SoCal and what to expect for another larger storm next week. Belen De Leon has your first warning forecast on December 10, 2021.

Some homes have automatic systems to turn off the sprinklers when it rains.

Guerrero says this tool can be extended even when it’s not raining.

“Due to the low temperatures we have right now and the cooler weather, we don’t need water for the next few days, so we can leave these systems turned off,” she said.

Several of these measures are in place within a block of Elmer Avenue. It could be a model for the future.

Obviously, precipitation catchment projects can’t produce additional water, but you know the old adage: a penny saved is a penny earned.

One gallon saved is one gallon less imported from northern California or the Colorado River.

About Kristina McManus

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