San Diego storm drain
Water-quality advocates are applauding a statewide policy announced Tuesday (April 7) that aims to entirely eliminate trash from the state's water systems and coast over the next ten years.
Municipalities have two routes to select in implementing the plan, with the preferred option being to "install, operate, and maintain full [trash] capture systems in storm drains" in industrial, commercial, and high-density residential areas.
Under the regulation, cities would also be able to deploy a combination of solutions, including the storm-drain filters, increased street sweeping, consumer education programs, or the enactment of local laws targeting litter sources. Going this route would require the production of monitoring reports to prove a net effect equal to the storm-drain trash-capture system.
"San Diego is currently the largest coastal city in the state without specific trash removal requirements in place," said Matt O’Malley with San Diego Coastkeeper in a release, noting that San Francisco and Los Angeles, whose trash-capture system the new rules are based on, have already begun to address their trash problems.
Last year Coastkeeper, in conjunction with the local Surfrider Foundation chapter, organized beach cleanups that resulted in the recovery of over 200,000 pieces of trash. That equates to just 10,500 pounds of garbage collected, as compared to annual trash reduction of up to a million pounds in Los Angeles using the storm-water collection solution.