Santa Monica is Not a Beach Bummer

July 1, 2019
by Rick Valte

Santa Monica is Not a Beach Bummer

The City of Santa Monica is proud that the Santa Monica Pier Beach dropped off Heal the Bay’s Beach Bummer list in 2019!

Over the years, the City has continued to implement numerous efforts, such as the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF), Pier storm drain reconstruction, and bird deterrent installations to keep polluted runoff out of the Santa Monica Bay. These efforts improve local coastal water quality, as well as store runoff for beneficial uses, and increase the City’s local water resource supply and reduce the use of imported water. 


Just last year, the city completed the Clean Beaches Project, a 1.6 million gallon underground storage tank and pipe system at the Pier. This project was designed to collect rainwater from Santa Monica’s Downtown area and to keep it from flowing into the Santa Monica Bay. That collected water is then diverted to the SMURRF for treatment and distribution for non-potable uses. The project also collects dry and wet weather runoff from Moomat Ahiko Way and other areas around the Santa Monica Pier which previously discharged directly into the ocean. 


To ensure year-round usefulness, the project has the ability to collect brackish groundwater and divert it for treatment at the SMURRF. While it is difficult to credit the water quality improvement for 2019 to any one project, the impact of the Clean Beaches project working in concert with the City’s other strategies is certainly a major step in the right direction, and hopefully, this improvement will continue in future years.

For more information about Santa Monica's water system, please visit 

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