Water Quality Monitoring
Our Water Quality Monitoring Program, DrainWatch, focuses on identifying and addressing the sources of pollution that impact Los Angeles County neighborhoods, rivers, streams and beaches. In order to identify the sources of water pollution, trained volunteers work with us to conduct hands-on monitoring, data collection, and water sampling. Volunteers regularly monitor storm drains flowing to beaches along the L.A. County coastline, and to major waterways emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Volunteers also help us to assess indicators of water quality including bacteria, metals and trash. The data collected is used to help us work with water regulatory agencies and municipalities to identify and ultimately eliminate sources of pollution. DrainWatch is a great opportunity to get to know local watersheds and conduct citizen science that directly supports our public outreach, advocacy and litigation efforts.
S.W.A.T. (Storm Water Assessment Team) is a special project focused on addressing water pollution at the source. Everytime it rains, stormwater runoff transports harmful pollutants from industrial areas through the storm drain system to our waterways, beaches and ocean. Our elite team of volunteers work on-call tirelessly to help us stop industrial facilities from discharging harmful pollutants like zinc, mercury, oil and grease. The Storm Water Assessment Team conducts investigative stormwater sampling and is specifically geared towards supporting our litigation work. Find out more about the S.W.A.T volunteer opportunities here.
LA Waterkeeper is spearheading the effort in Los Angeles County to train volunteers in rigorous trash survey methods. This project, the first of its kind, focuses on trash in urban rivers in Southern California. Trained volunteers will survey trash at six urban river sites in the LA River and Santa Monica Bay watersheds before the “first flush” in the fall. This is a collaborative study to collect and report on comprehensive data on how much and what kind of trash is polluting our waters. The results will be used to empower local communities with information, and inform local, statewide, and national clean water policies to reduce the amount of trash debris that end up in our waters. Find out more about the Trash Survey project volunteer opportunities here.