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Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Updated November 4, 2015

Household and home maintenance | Lawn and garden | Automotive

Many residents don't realize that Cerritos is linked to the Pacific Ocean through an intricate system of storm drains, designed to prevent flooding during heavy rains.

To prevent pollution, residents must be careful to keep our City's gutters and storm drains clear. Chemicals, trash and dirt that are washed into the storm drain system flow straight to the ocean, causing pollution, harming and killing wildlife, and damaging the recreational areas we all enjoy. Following are some helpful tips for stopping this dangerous flow:

Household and home maintenance

  • Buy household products, such as cleaners and furniture polish, that are labeled "non-toxic." Use small quantities and buy only the amount you need.
  • Use and store all cleaners, solvents and paint according to directions.
  • Dispose of leftover household hazardous materials safely by taking it to a countywide Household Hazardous Waste Roundup. Call 1(888)CLEAN-LA for the next event.
  • Use kitty litter or another absorbent material to clean spills from concrete or asphalt, rather than hosing down the surface.
  • Clean paint brushes carefully. Filter and reuse paint thinner or brush cleaners.
  • Recycle reusable materials. Keep litter tightly covered in a trash can to prevent neighborhood animals from foraging.

Lawn and Garden

  • Use insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers according to directions. Don't apply if rain is forecasted.
  • Sweep up yard waste rather than using a hose. Reuse leaves and yard clippings as compost.
  • Pick up animal waste and dispose of it in trash cans.


  • Take used motor oil or antifreeze to a recycling center or gas station that recycles.
  • Maintain your car to prevent leakage of oil, anti-freeze or other fluids.
  • Cut vehicle emissions by maintaining your car, ride-sharing or using public transportation.
  • Conserve water when washing your car. Don't leave the hose running, and minimize soapy runoff to the street.

more info iconFor more information on stormwater protection measures, pick up a brochure from City Hall's Public Works counter. To report a blocked or polluted stormdrain, please call the City's Maintenance Division at (562) 407-2632 between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. , or (562) 916-1220 between 3:30 and 5 p.m. In an emergency after hours, on weekends or on a holiday, please call (562) 860-4018.

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