It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…
And while most of you are snoring, LA Waterkeeper will be out monitoring water quality.
Every time it rains Los Angeles Waterkeeper’s volunteer Storm Water Assessment Team deploys throughout the region to monitoring stormwater pollution. Last week’s storm was no exception. A set of newly trained volunteers spent Wednesday morning monitoring runoff and collecting water samples from scrap metal yards, waste stations, and construction sites.
It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it. The water samples our SWAT volunteers collect are tested for heavy metals, bacteria, and oil and grease among other pollutants and are measured against state and federal water quality standards. This data is used then as hard evidence of water quality permit violations by our legal team in enforcement actions, making it one of the most effective ways as a volunteer you can help eliminate sources of water pollution in your community.
Everyone in California should know by now that it’s going to rain again this week, and it’s going to rain HARD. We’re expecting to get 1 to 3 inches of rain in Los Angeles on Thursday night into Friday. It can also be expected that a lot of trash, pesticides, heavy metals and oil will be washed by the storm into our rivers and bays, but I can guarantee you that our SWAT volunteers will be out in full force collecting samples of stormwater runoff to bring polluters to justice.
Something else I am sure of is that the rain this week won’t be enough to end California’s drought crisis. Climate scientists and water resources officials are saying this week’s rain still won’t be enough to fill up our above and below ground reservoirs. In fact, we still have a long way to go. State officials said this week that it would take 150% of California’s average annual rainfall this year to get us out of the drought . That means several more storms like the one expected this week and a good snowpack up in the Sierras are required this winter. But we’re off to a good start.
-Lara Meeker, Watershed Program Manager