The Dirtiest Storm Drains: Does your property fit the description?

November 20, 2020
Posted in News
November 20, 2020 Seventy1 Environmental

We’ve put together our list of properties that usually have the dirtiest storm drains from our experience inside the storm drains of Southern California.


Sadly, the storm drains in shopping centers and mall parking lots are often littered with trash.


Restaurants have a different trash enclosure environment than, say, an office building. Rotting food, napkins and trash, grease and liquids make for a mess. The sludge often drips out of the enclosure and drools into the nearest storm drain. (Note: This is actually a stormwater violation)

Here we have a filtration insert installed on a grate inlet near a restaurant. Someone poured grease into the drain, which later resulted in a backup.


We’ve found some interesting things in the drains of certain industrial properties. Tenants who make things sometimes don’t realize they can’t dump down the storm drain. Paint, beer hops and other chemicals are a definite no-no!


Properties built before 2003 did not require a stormwater filtration system and therefore do not require stormwater service. This means these properties have more than likely never had their storm drains cleaned. Over the years, trash, debris and sediment can really build up.