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Water Quality

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Stormwater Quality 


The Malibu Creek Watershed is located about 35 miles west of Los Angeles and extends from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Pacific Coast. This watershed, approximately 109 square miles, is the second largest watershed draining into the Santa Monica Bay. The Malibu Creek Watershed encompasses portions of the counties of Ventura and Los Angeles, including all or part of seven cities in these two counties. More than 80% of the watershed is open space that includes National Park Service and State Park land. Creeks and lakes located in the upper portions of the watershed drain into Malibu Creek, which then flows downstream into Malibu Lagoon and, ultimately, into the Santa Monica Bay when the lagoon is breached. The water quality at Surfrider Beach, which is directly to the east of the lagoon, is impacted by the outflows from Malibu Lagoon.

Stormwater quality is vastly becoming a major issue for municipalities, specifically urban runoff. It is the responsibility of the City to ensure that the water leaving the city meets all state and federal requirements. For questions or further information, please contact Kelly Fisher at or (818) 597-7338.

The City has a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit which specifies numerous measures that the City must take to prevent stormwater pollution. The NPDES permit programs implemented by the City include public outreach, illicit discharge and illicit connection elimination, development planning, development construction, commercial and industrial facilities, and public agency activities. Furthermore, the City is a participating member of the Malibu Creek Watershed (MCW) Enhanced Watershed Management Program (EWMP) along with the cities of Calabasas, Westlake Village, and Hidden Hills and the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District. The City collaborates with its fellow MCW EWMP members to monitor water quality in our local waterways as well as implement local and regional stormwater quality improvement projects. Through permit implementation and inter-agency collaboration, the City can achieve water quality standards as enforced by the Regional Water Quality Control Board – Los Angeles. The City’s Public Works Department is charged with the responsibility of implementing these programs.

Here are several tips to help keep our lakes, creeks, and beaches clean:

o Dispose of cigarette butts in trash receptacles.
o Do not dump anything into streets, gutters, or storm drain inlets.
o Do not apply fertilizers or pesticides prior to rain events or near gutters, ditches, or drains and use environmentally safe products.
o Install drip irrigation to reduce water use in your garden.
o Properly maintain your car so it doesn’t drip fluids.
o Be aware -- Sprinkler, hose, and rain water runoff will carry everything in the streets (grass clippings, motor oil, fertilizers, pesticides, paint thinners, etc.) directly into our nearby waterbodies.
o Take advantage of locally available Household Hazardous Waste Programs. The City of Calabasas hosts events open to residents in neighboring cities. (Details on the next collection event)
o Wash your car at the car wash or where wash water drains to a grassy or landscaped area.
o Pet waste contains harmful bacteria. Always pick-up and dispose of pet waste in a waste container.

To report illegal dumping or discharges, please call the Public Works/Engineering Department at (818) 597-7329 or the countywide hotline at 1-888-CLEANLA. For more information on illegal dumping visit the city webpage at Illegal Dumping – Reporting.


Regional Water Quality Control Board – Los Angeles
State Water Resources Control Board
Environmental Protection Agency
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works – Low Impact Development Manual, February 2014
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Sewer Maintenance
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District
Living Lightly in Our Watersheds
Heal the Bay – Malibu Creek Watershed
Pollution Prevention Public Service Announcement
Help Us Keep Our Local Rivers and Ocean Clean

Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission
Search for Used Oil Certified Collection Centers

Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) Audit
Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) Draft 2015 Part I
Sewer System Management Plan (SSMP) Draft 2015 Part II

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