By the year 2013, 36 U.S. states are expected to face serious water shortages. Save Water Today is a public service campaign from the Student Conservation Association and American Water, in partnership with EPA’s WaterSense program.

Created by Emmy Award-winning writer and director Gilly Barnes, the videos feature celebrities sharing easy tips on how everyone can do their part to use water wisely and start making a difference in a matter of hours or days.

 See website for videos

You’d think that standing in a dank tunnel filled with raw sewage would muck up your holiday spirit. But these London sewermen seem to be having a jolly old time as they remind the city’s inhabitants not to flush turkey fat or baby wipes down the toilet. Singing “only what comes out of you should go into our pipes” to the tune of “Good King Wenceslas,” they make responsible waste disposable seem downright fun.

Thames Water will donate 1p to WaterAid for every hit the film gets on YouTube (up to a maximum of 200,000 views, ending on 31 January 2011) to support the charity’s life-saving work to improve access to safe water and sanitation to the world’s poorest people.

Find out more about the Singing Sewermen and their work at:

LABS has posted a new set of videos on CWEA’s YouTube site. The hour-long six-part series is a recording of its April dinner meeting, which featured Sam Espinoza from the LA Sanitation Districts of LA County speaking about wastewater collection system operation and maintenance.

Comment on this post and let us know what you think. Does your workplace allow access to YouTube? Are the videos useful for information sharing? Want to provide footage of your events or tours of your facility?

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Check out Heal the Bay’s mockumentary narrated by Jeremy Irons, on the plastic bag’s adventures as it travels to the great garbage patch in the Pacific.

Here’s an entertaining video describing how bottled water is bad for the environment and promoting switching back to tap water.  There’s an interesting comment on how our clean water infrastructure is under-funded as well:
Link to video

Annie Leonard used to spout jargon. She reveled in the sort of geek-speak that glazes your eyeballs.

Externalized costs, paradigm shifts, the precautionary principle, extended producer responsibility.

That was before she discovered cartoons.

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Los Angeles Basin Section (LABS) and Young Professionals (YP)
See video from the May 25 Young Professionals Tour of LACSD’s Bixby Marshland in Carson.  

Bixby Marshlands, a 17-acre wetland, located in Carson, Ca, was formerly part of a large fresh water marshland called Bixby Slough. History of the marshlands goes way back as far to the early 1900’s, to where it had stretched out as far from 223rd to the LA Harbor. In the 1970s, after the 110 freeway was built (1960s), when construction of the Wilmington Drain (built to protect flooding), 95% of the marshlands were destroyed by development.

Since then, in 1995, the Sanitation Districts completed the Joint Outfall Systems (JOS) 2010 Master Facilities Plan (certified to restore wetlands). In 2000, the marshlands were filled, & digesters were infiltrated.

According to the March 2009 biological survey, the marshlands is home to 43% of the federal-listed endangered & threatened species & a total of 135 native, non-native plants, 65 species of birds, as well as fish, such as the Western Mosquito Fish, animals;  the Desert Cottontails, amphibians; the Pacific Tree Frogs, & reptiles; the Western Fence Lizards, trees such as willows & sycamores.

Why the marshlands are so important, besides providing habitat (homes), its part of the “Pacific Flyway” where birds that are traveling a place to rest. Wetlands are sometimes called “the kidneys of the marshlands” because they receive water the rushes off during storms. In wetlands, water is cleansed of sediments & pollutants before it slowly enters the ocean or underground aquifers.

Today, it is helped run from volunteers from the Audubon Society & it is open to the public of the 1st Saturdays of every month from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. If you are interested in becoming a docent and would like to become an active service crew, you can contact Rupam Soni at (562) 908-4288 ext 2303.


See link for video

This video from the British Pathe Archive shows Vienna Policemen on regular patrol in 1934 inside the city’s sewer system. Policemen decend into the sewers to check on the homeless and patrol for thieves – using torches to light their way (ack!).

And if you come to LABS June 17th dinner meeting in Pomona – you can see how today’s wastewater investigators handle legal cases. A wastewater inspector will talk about a multi-year, multi-agency investigiation into a Los Angeles firm burying drums with toxic substances in them behind their warehouse.

View the LABS June 17th dinner flyer for details and RSVP information. 

Here is the video’s original description: M/S of the ‘Canal Brigade’ rushing to get into a charabanc and driving off. Although they are dressed as normal sewage men, they are really members of the Vienna Police Department who patrol the famous sewers of the city. Several shots of the armed policemen walking through the sewers, climbing down through manholes, patrolling underground and searching for a tramp who is looking for items of jewellery that people have lost down the drains. A long line of men walk through a river that flows under the city; they all carry lighted beacons. The men are seen getting back into the charabanc on street level.

Such as skipping the hamburger for lunch…

An LA City fire truck stuck in a sink hole caused by a broken 6" drinking water pipeline. The break follows the much larger Studio City water main break. (Credit: Flickr, Mick_O, cc)

An LA City fire truck stuck in a sink hole caused by a broken 6" drinking water pipeline. The break follows the much larger Studio City water main break that occured Saturday night. (Credit: Flickr, Mick_O, cc)

With five LA-DWP drinking water pipelines bursting within a few miles of one another within the last ten days some Angelenos are starting to wonder what’s up with the pipes down below. According to an LA Times article, DWP engineers are also wondering why the number of leaks overall are down – but major blowouts (shooting out the streets type stuff) are way up.

And that could be a good thing if people pay more attention to the infrastructure that surrounds them and makes life better. In Los Angeles and in cities across the nation infrastructure is wearing out and reaching the end of its useful life. The large 62″ LADWP pipeline which failed Saturday night is reported to be nearly 100-years old.

Infrastructure falling apart isn’t just an LA problem. The EPA, WEF, CBO, WIN, ASCE and others have been warning for years about a growing investment gap in America’s water and wastewater infrastructure. The EPA says communities are under-investing by $10 to $20-billion than they should each year to replace old drinking water and wastewater pipes, as well as treatment plants.  That gap will grow to $220-billion over the next twenty years the EPA reports.

Tell us below in a comment what Los Angeles should do about our crumbling water and wastewater infrastructure.

Here’s a good overview from CBS News about the nation’s failing infrastructure…

Watch CBS Videos Online

Consulting engineer firm CDM presents this video detailing their efforts helping the City of Los Angeles develop an integrated resource plan (IRP) for managing water, stormwater and wastewater. The video is one of three and part of CDM’s “Cities of the Future” marketing campaign. Narrated by NPR’s Scott Simon, host of “Weekend Edition Saturday.”


A truly wonderful video put together by President-Elect Darren Greenwood in honor of CWEA’s 80th Anniversary. Darren offers special thanks to Mike Donovan for providing most of the historical information seen in the video.

The video is a reminder of all the members, volunteers and staff which make the organization such a success and the long, proud history of the organization.

Lear more at

Earlier this month an Orange County Federal judge revised his July decision blocking the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board from implementing stormwater quality regulations, know as total maximum daily loads, for the LA River.

The Board may now implement water quality standards; however, the Judge still requires the Board to re-examine the financial impact of the rules on local cities.

A coalition of cities came together in 2006 to file a lawsuit and block implementation of the TMDLs, arguing they were far too expensive for small cities to implement. For example the small City of Signal Hill near Long Beach estimates it will cost over $50-million to come into compliance with the TMDLs.

KCET’s SoCal Connected looks at the controversy…


Protecting our beaches and oceans means also taking care of local tidepools. The Laguna Ocean Foundation has prepared a video about the dos and don’ts when visiting a tide pool.

 View the viedo here.

MSNBC reports on the alarming trend of stolen manhole covers. The story even features the Long Beach Water Department (which also oversees the wastewater collection system). A detailed story about Long Beach here.

Credit: OCWD

The OCSD/OCWD Groundwater Replenishment System (now in operation) was featured in a NewsHour segment last night. Watch the NewsHour video here. (Note: Flash player)

Previous story here.

Mullholland at the site of the St. Francis Dam Collapse (credit: USC)

On March 12, 1928 close to midnight, residents in Santa Clarita and Santa Clara Valleys awoke to the rumbling of water and a horrible nightmare – the City of LA’s St. Francis dam had collapsed and 12-billion gallons of water were rushing to the sea. Nearly 600 people were killed, the City paid out $5.5-million in compensation ($65m in today’s dollars) and the tragedy stained the reputation of William Mulholland. “If there was an error of human judgment, I was that human,” he said.

The assessment of an LA grand jury:

Los Angeles had grown too big, too fast and, in its frenzy to supply both water and power for its burgeoning population, it had blundered.

WikiPedia entry. USC history article.

After the jump, view a video about the disaster from the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.

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The LA County Sanitation Districts has a new video about their Clearwater Program and public involvement (note: Windows Media Video takes a moment to load).

The Whittier Narrows plant (LACSD) is featured on Time Warner Cable’s So-Cal News. The plant was originally built in 1962.

(note: Flash video)