My name is Brent Alex and I am a native Angelino.
From my perspective as a diver and photographer who chooses to focus my lens above and below the waterline of this great city, I can say, we have a very serious problem. But, it is ENTIRELY fixable. In fact, there is money to made in polluted water. Just ask Bill Gates; currently he is funding Omniprocessor, which turns human waste into renewable energy and drinkable water in developing countries where a lack of potable water and electrical power is prevalent.
For the last 8 years I have been on ground zero in hundreds of locations throughout the L.A. Basin while working in the film industry. My proof and concern stems from the physical evidence I see clogging our gutters, cement-lined L.A. River, and storm drains.
Caused in large part by our single-use plastic consuming society that shows no sign of slowing down, water quality has become on of the most pivotal issues of our day, not only in Los Angeles, but also worldwide.
Storm-water and non storm-water pollution remains the most significant source of pollution in our region. The next time it rains in L.A., take a field trip to see “Sun Valley Lake” otherwise known as the intersection of Lankershim Blvd and Tuxford St, and one will witness grotesque evidence of flooding, polluted runoff and man-made water contamination.
In a state home to one of the most fertile valleys in the world, we are virtually drying up. Because when it rains, it often pours. And what happens? Nothing. Hardly any water is collected or repurposed, rather millions and billions of polluted gallons gush down the gutters and sewers into the Santa Monica Bay. #ThreeEyedFishies.
On December 16, 2014 the California State Water Board held a board meeting at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles to discuss safe harbor provisions and requirements for strict compliance with Water Quality Standards from the 2001 State Water Board permit. The agenda;
Los Angeles Regional Water Board: 1). Consideration of a proposed resolution approving amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for the Los Angeles Region to revise water quality objectives and the total maximum daily load for chloride in the Upper Santa Clara River
Yes, you read that correctly, CHLORIDE.
Los Angeles Regional Board Workshop: 2). Hold a Public Workshop on a draft order resolving issues raised in the petitions on the Los Angeles Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit (Order No. R4-2012-0175)
The State Water Board, in layman’s terms, met to determine how and when cities within Los Angeles County must comply and meet minimum levels of storm water pollution testing levels or face financial fines.
The current permit provides safe harbors to the 2001 State Water Permit requirement that discharges must not cause or contribute to exceedances of water quality standards. While I understand the financial investment and time required of individual cities within Los Angeles County to reach full compliance, I urge them to see the strong economic benefit of investing in clean water, rivers and beaches for our communities. The greatest opportunity for creativity lies in necessity. And that necessity is clean water.
Hell, if Bill Gates will drink water made from human waste, who is to say that polluted runoff is destined to be polluted runoff.