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One Way We Fight Water Pollution: Catch Basin Screen Covers

An empty pack of cigarettes and a plastic coffee cup cover caught by a catch basin screen cover | Zach Behrens/LAist
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Speaking of LA County's terrible water quality ranking that was announced today, have you seen these along Los Angeles' curbs? These catch basin screen covers prevent litter larger than ¾ of an inch from entering the storm drain system that brings water to the ocean via the LA River and Ballona Creek. Over the past year, they started appearing in the Valley, but they were first installed in other areas that generated the highest amount of trash.

What were those areas? A 2002 study found that a small part of the City generated the majority of the litter. Ouch. Those areas included the Civic Center area and the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, Koreatown, Chinatown, East Los Angeles, portions of Hollywood and Silver Lake.

14,600 have already been installed in the first two phases, which concentrated on the highest and medium trash generation areas, according to the city. Now, in Phase III, 34,000 more catch basin screen coves will be installed throughout city limits, including on those maintained by the county and state.

The program is funded by Prop O, which was passed by voters in 2004. More than $25 million was spent on the first two phase with the third one projected to cost $44.5 million.