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WHAT IS NPDES? NPDES is a federal mandate that prohibits pollutants from entering the storm drain system.

NDPES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The NPDES program was created as part of the Federal Clean Water Act Amendments of 1992. The Clean Water Act requires that all local government agencies and major private industries take all practicable measures in reducing pollution discharges into major bodies of water, such as the Dominguez Channel, Los Angeles River, and Santa Monica Bay. The City's current NPDES permit covers Los Angeles County Flood Control District, the County of Los Angeles, and 84 incorporated cities.

The Public Works Department, the Community Development Department, and the Fire Department have assigned staff to make sure the City is in compliance with the NPDES permit. Public Works handles the inter-agency liaisons, capital improvement projects relative to permit compliance,TMDL monitoring and the input for the new NPDES Permit. Community Development handles the site inspections, implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP’s), development plan checks, public education programs and administration. The Fire Department serves as first responders for incidents related to run-off, illicit discharges, and hazardous spills. The Fire Prevention Division oversees the Commercial & Facilities Management Program to include inspections and enforcement.

In summary, the City of Torrance is doing many things to keep our waterways clean:

  • Construction,. Industrial/Commercial inspection and enforcement.
  • Inspection of Storm Drain Channels/Pipes 36 inches and larger.
  • Prioritizing Catch Basins and more frequent clean outs Installation of trash receptacles at all transit stops.
  • Enhanced street sweeping and bi-monthly cleaning of City owned parking lots.
  • Additional Record Keeping and Reporting.
  • Employee Training.
  • Public Outreach



When it rains, water collects in the streets and travels through the gutters into a catch basin. The stormwater is then
transported through underground pipes called storm drains. The water empties from the storm drains and eventually flows out of a pipe and directly into the ocean. Unlike the sewer system, which carries wastewater (sewage) from indoor drains (ie. sink, toilet, and bathtub) to a wastewater treatment plant like Hyperion, the storm drain system releases storm water directly into the ocean untreated. The reason for this is simple: when it rains, wastewater treatment plants cannot handle the vast amount of run-off that is created almost instantly. This means that any trash, organic materials, or hazardous chemicals which are dumped in the street can pollute our ocean.

What can you do?

Picture1Don't Litter: Everything dropped, tossed, spilled or discarded onto streets and gutters will eventually make its way into the storm drain system--and out to the ocean!



Picture2Report Illegal Dumping: Illegal dumping of trash, paint products, motor oil and other chemicals into storm drains is against the law!



Picture3Pick up after your Pets: Animal waste that runs off of lawns and sidewalks sends harmful bacteria into the storm drain system and out into the ocean, creating problems for swimmers and fish.



Picture4Take your hazardous Waste Materials to a S.A.F.E. Center: Residential Special Materials are typical household products that should not be disposed of by merely throwing in the trash. These items include unused or leftover paint, pesticides, cleaners and other chemicals.


Environmentally Friendly Landscaping, Gardening & Pest Control

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