Covered Drains Caper Explained

Published : Friday, October 11, 2019 | 5:38 AM

In case you’ve noticed some of the storm drains in the City of Pasadena covered, the Department of Public Works (DPW) wants you to know it’s just following the rules.

The covers are “catch basins” and they are used for gathering trash samples throughout the City to help in complying with mandated Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits.

As part of the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (RWQCB) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements, the City is required to submit an annual report demonstrating its compliance with mandated TMDL limits to reduce trash discharges from sources along the Los Angeles River to meet the numeric target of zero trash in the water.

Determining the volume of trash captured by street sweeping and catch basin inserts is part of this annual reporting effort, according to a statement by the Public Works Department.

A representative sampling of 56 stormwater catch basins were chosen throughout the City for the survey.

City staff have begun covering these catch basins with fabric to conduct the required trash capture survey. Based on the amount of trash collected, the City is credited towards meeting its trash TMDL limits.

The fabrics were to have been removed upon completion of the survey in late September, the announcement said.

The Public Works Department’s Street Maintenance and Integrated Waste Management Division is responsible for the maintenance of the storm drains in the City. The Los Angeles County Flood Control District also has some drains that run through Pasadena. Drains and catch basins are cleaned on a yearly basis.

Should you have any questions regarding drains or catch basins, call the Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311.

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