Wednesday, October 5, 2011

FIRST FLUSH! Pico Blvd. Storm Drain - Oct. 5, 2011

Pico Blvd. storm drain
trash collected for 20 minutes
21.9 POUNDS!

It rained in Santa Monica today. It was the first solid day of rain we have had in months. Fall has arrived, and with it what we call the First Flush. The First Flush is when all the crap that has been backing up on the city of Los Angeles storm drains gets flushed through to the ocean. Yummy. 

One of the first piles of trash I saw was this mound of plastic bottles collecting in a corner behind a fence where I couldn't reach. 

Next was this image. It amused me to see so many recreational balls gathered. I imagined how many pick up games saw their end when the ball dropped into a gaping storm drain hole in the street. 
Had they spent all summer pent up in the sweltering heat, waiting to be released today?

But that was the end of my amusement. Multiply this stretch of beach for as far as the eye could see. 

Some foam with your noodles?

The water raged to the ocean. 

It looked like you would be swept away if you ended up in that river of refuse. 

Behind me, the storm drain, and a few fancy - like-400-dollars-a-night-fancy hotels...

In front of me, the Santa Monica Bay which is now trashed for days. 

I started my 20 minute timer once I'd taken these photos.

In 5 minutes I had collected 10.3 pounds


5 min. - 10.3 pounds

the remaining 15 (after I had to empty my bag teaming over with trash) 
11.6 pounds - total - 21.9 pounds. 

That's over a pound a minute. Not to mention the weight of the bacteria hitching a ride in the foam on my clothes, or other funk stuck to my boots. Did I mention the smell???

When I saw my friend Dan later, he said there had been a sewer spill up the street earlier in the day. 


  1. goodness ....I'm stunned! Well I shall keep going in the bay.

  2. Oh man, that's one heck of a garbage. It's a lot better than here in my country where even bottles are being swept away. Good post right here. Thanks for the pics.

    sell my house quick