Clean Storm Water 101

When it rains in Long Beach, water runs down the street into inlets known as storm drains. They were built to prevent flooding of our streets during storms.

This drain system is different from our sewer system. Storm drains lead straight to our ocean with no chemical or litter filtration. Everything that washes into our storm drains goes straight to the ocean.

A significant amount of pollution in our local waters and beaches comes from our storm drain system. Litter and other pollutants from our streets, neighborhoods, businesses, parking lots, construction sites, etc. are washed down storm drains by rain, hosing or illegal dumping.

Remember – storm drains are for rainwater ONLY. As Long Beach residents, we can protect fish, local wildlife, wetland inhabitants and recreational areas like beaches from the damaging effects of stormwater pollution by keeping litter off our streets and reporting illegal dumping. Do your part to preserve a healthy environment for our children, future generations, and us.

What Can You Do?


  • Use pesticides and fertilizers wisely
  • When walking your dog, clean up after it every single time
  • Dispose of hazardous waste properly
  • Properly neutralize pool water before draining
  • Report illegal disposal


  • Do NOT rinse paint containers or paint brushes into the street, alley or gutter
  • Do NOT dump hazardous waste or auto fluids like motor oil into the street, gutter or storm drain
  • Do NOT blow, hose or sweep leaves or other debris into the street or gutter
  • Do NOT over-water your garden, as contaminated water can flow into the street and down a storm drain

How to Report Illegal Disposal of Hazardous Waste

To report illegal dumping and discharges into the storm drain system, use our online form or call the City Refuse & Recycling Hotline at (562) 570-2876 for immediate assistance. To report dumping in progress, call 911.