Water Equity Clearinghouse

City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation

Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (LASAN) is the largest wastewater treatment and collection system in the United States, with a customer base of more than four million and about 400 million gallons of flow a day. LASAN is also charged with the collection and removal of solid materials.

Understanding that the proper disposal of waste is key in protecting watersheds, LASAN runs an award-winning Watershed Protection Program to comply with pollution abandonment mandates, protect receiving waters, and comply with flood control laws. Within this program, LASAN propagates Low Impact Development stormwater management strategies, implements green infrastructure projects, and funds projects that prevent and remove pollutants from waterways to up to five million dollars through Proposition O.

Efforts to Advance Water Equity

As LA begins to experience heavier, more sporadic rain events followed by excessive drought, LASAN recognizes that effective and immediate action is needed to ensure climate resilient waterworks. So far, LASAN has completed assessment studies and action plans that will guide future climate projects that focus on county wide and region wide areas. LASAN works to embed stakeholder planning and engagement, community based organizations, and outreach to disadvantaged communities in many of their initiatives.

For example, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, LASAN is repurposing alleyways in LA to be vibrant, outdoor areas that reduce the urban heat island effect, capture and filter stormwater, encourage pedestrian use, and beautify the neighborhood with native, drought resistant plants. In addition, the projects are committed to engaging youth and community based organizations to incorporate their perspectives and visions into the plans. LASAN understands that community-led projects have an enormous impact on how people perceive water and its potential to transform neighborhoods. LASAN is also using these projects to create job and education opportunities. At the Avalon Green Alley, LASAN was able to partner with Kaiser Permanente to bring in public health education benefits.