Los Angeles Considers Mandatory Rainwater Capture
The Los Angeles Department of Public Works (LADPW) has approved an ordinance that would require the capture and reuse of stormwater by new homes, large developments, and certain redevelopments in the city. If signed into law, the ordinance would apply to runoff from ¾-inch (or greater) rainstorms, requiring 100% reuse or infiltration, thereby preventing an estimated 104 million gallons of polluted water from entering the ocean. Mitigation fees, which the Building Industry Association (BIA) has opposed, would apply to builders who are unable to fulfill the requirements of the ordinance. Negotiations between LADPW and BIA have yielded a $13 per gallon fee for neglected rainwater—originally set at $20—and the option of cleaning runoff in a high-efficiency bio-filtration system before releasing it. Collected fees would finance future low-impact public development projects. The ordinance, if passed, would be effective by 2011.
Published March 1, 2010