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Santa Monica Introduces its First Green Street

Photo of a regular LA street | Photo by Atwater Village Newbie via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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Los Angeles has had one for a little while and now Santa Monica has joined the club. Typically, when it rains the runoff goes into the storm drains directing it to the ocean. What it takes along with it--chemicals, trash, etc--is extremely harmful and wasteful, too. If the little water brought to us in Southern California was spent on keeping it in the groundwater system instead of spending money to move it out, all the better. The Lookout News in Santa Monica was at a demonstration yesterday and explains how the new one on the 100 block of Bicknell Avenue works:

Before the water can reach the curb, much of it percolates into the ground through a permeable concrete layer six inches deep that allows the water to infiltrate into the soil below. Infiltration basins under the parking lanes store the water during a storm or in the event there is dry weather runoff. The runoff is collected by the basins with filters in the gutters.

The water is stored until it percolates into the surrounding soil, helping to replenish groundwater supplies.

The runoff that does not enter the basins flows into depressed bioswales that serve as parkways flanking the street. They feature native plants that are supported by drip irrigation under a layer of mulch. The plants require little water and maintenance.

In May, catch basin screen covers caught the interest of LAist readers so much the city responded to questions brought up in the comments section.