Mayor Ted Winterer with city leaders and officials at Los Amigos Park


On May 23, the City officially opened the Los Amigos Park Storm Water Harvesting and Direct Use Demonstration Project.

Officials said the project is another way for the City to maintain the strong environmental commitment within the community while helping move the city toward water conservation, water self-sufficiency and reduced water usage.

The project is located within John Muir Elementary School and was collaborative effort between the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

It will divert up to 550,000 gallons of water from the storm drainpipe that is adjacent to the Los Amigos Park for reuse. The project was undertaken by the City of Santa Monica to show the effectiveness of harvesting urban runoff for beneficial uses for locals and residents.

“This project captures runoff from a 40-acre area in Ocean Park neighborhood, this project treats that runoff for distribution for irrigation and toilet flushing for the (Los Amigos) park,” said Rick Valte, City Engineer.

The harvested urban runoff will replace indoor flushing and a portion of the irrigation demands, which were previously satisfied by potable water supplies.

Valte said the direct harvest of wet and dry weather urban runoff will aide in the restoration and protection of Santa Monica Bay through the removal of potential pollutants that may be present.

“This project saves more than half a million gallons of water every year. That’s almost 100 glasses of drinking water for every resident here in Santa Monica,” said Valte.

Los Amigos is the first retrofit project to harvest offsite wet and dry weather runoff from an adjacent, existing storm drain.

The ultimate goal of the project is to demonstrate the multiples benefits of the local water resource harvesting strategy to meet local water needs. To reduce the use of reliable, unsustainable and more expensive imported water, as well as to reduce water pollution to a local water body and help meet total maximum daily loads.

Valte said, “Lastly this project is a testament to what collaboration to what a city, school district and water district can accomplish.”