The Ocean Begins at your Front Door...
Even though La Palma is miles from the Pacific Ocean, your actions may be polluting it without knowing it. The City of La Palma, like most cities in Southern California, has two drainage systems — sanitary sewers and storm drains. The storm drain system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from streets; it is NOT designed to be a waste disposal system. Unlike the sewer system, which carries water from your indoor drains to wastewater treatment plants, the storm drain system releases untreated water into channels, rivers, and ultimately the ocean.


Urban pollutants, such as oil and other automotive fluids, paint, yard and pet wastes, construction debris, pesticides, fertilizers, and cleaners can wind up in the street.

A little water from rain or a garden hose can carry automotive and household toxic materials through the storm drains to the flood control channel and eventually the ocean.

Polluted urban runoff contaminates the ocean and beaches harms aquatic life, and increases the risk of flooding by clogging gutters and catch basins.

You can help control water contamination by being aware of the sources and the activities that contribute to stormwater pollution.

Report Illegal Dumping
To report illegal dumping, call the Orange Countywide 24-hour water pollution reporting hotline number at 1-877-89-SPILL, or the La Palma Public Works Department at (714) 690-3310 or during after hours call the La Palma Police Department at (714) 690-3370.

Since many businesses and residents are unaware of the stormwater & urban runoff problem, encourage neighbors and co-workers to be careful about polluting the storm drain system. Visit for additional information and materials regarding storm drain management.

Together, we can make a difference in keeping the ocean and beaches clean for wildlife and ourselves.