Can L.A. Turn its Storm Water Headache into a Drinking Water Solution?

In its enduring quest to slake its immense thirst, and protect its beautiful beaches, Los Angeles leaders are putting forth an ambitious proposal to solve two problems with one solution: make runoff drinkable.

"Even in this water-starved region, storm and other runoff has become the primary source of water pollution," writes Ian Lovett. "After the rare rains, runoff drags heavy metals, pesticides, cigarette butts, animal waste and other pollutants into streams and rivers and eventually to the Pacific Ocean, turning Los Angeles County’s beaches into the filthiest in the state."

"But now, local officials are trying to deal with runoff pollution and another problem — the lack of drinking water — with an ambitious plan to make the runoff drinkable."

"The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued new rules that include strong incentives for cities to work together on projects that capture and filter rainwater in the ground. Not only would those projects keep runoff pollution out of the waterways, they would also bolster groundwater supplies, which could eventually be used for drinking water."

Full Story: Slaking a Region’s Thirst While Cleaning Its Beaches


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