Water's Many L.A. Ways

Discover how all water is recycled and sustains life on earth. Explore our urban and natural water cycles and see water in new ways! Our Clean Water gallery offers many hands-on learning experiences that teach the science behind LA’s stormwater and wastewater management programs, and reveals the unseen connections between LA Sanitation's mechanical treatment systems and nature’s ecosystems.

Each visitor will have the opportunity to understand where the water in LA comes from, how much water we get and use each day, and most importantly, the best ways we can conserve our water use on a daily basis.

Visitors will also learn about:

  • the dangers of water pollution;
  • the best ways to preserve our watersheds in Los Angeles;
  • the process of wastewater reclamation; and
  • explore new ways to ensure water safety.


You'll get to make choices about everyday activities that use valuable water when you try out six stations representing a typical home with its garage and yard. Wash dishes by hand or in a dishwasher? How do you water the lawn?

Your choices can save water and shrink your water footprint. When you save water, you protect the planet—its people, wildlife, rivers and the ocean.


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Did you realize that Earth has the same water today that it had at its beginning? All water is recycled, but recycled water made from wastewater takes extra treatment to ensure its safety.

You'll compare samples under microscopes to evaluate water quality. Come and explore ways to use recycled water in our ever-changing modern world.

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Follow wastewater from your home's sinks, showers and toilets, as small pipes lead to bigger ones and ultimately to one of our four treatment plants. The City of Los Angeles has one of the largest wastewater systems in the world!

You can also take a look under our streets at the separate pipe systems that carry enormous volumes of rainwater and wastewater to extremely different places.

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Our multi-sensory exhibit demonstrates how water runs downhill—across the city's watersheds—to the ocean. Study what happens when it rains and billions of gallons roar through our storm drain system.

Even on sunny days, millions of gallons flow down streets to the ocean. Find out how to protect, capture and reuse this valuable resource!


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Discover how we use biological and physical processes to clean the water by separating solids from liquids. We have lab equipment and demonstrations for you to investigate different science principles that help us do this.

Learn how wastewater treatment protects aquatic life as well as your own health!

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The number one source of ocean pollution is urban runoff. Surprised? Water from over-irrigating lawns and washing cars picks up pollutants in litter and oil on streets, pet poop, and pesticides in gardens.

Learn about LA's 35,000 catch basins with screens to intercept debris. More importantly, find out what you should do to stop pollution!

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We make fertilizer, called "biosolids," from the solid waste removed from wastewater. Biosolids are rich in minerals and nutrients that healthy crops need. But before biosolids are filled into the soil, pathogenic worms in them must be destroyed!

Try setting different temperatures for our biosolids cooker. Do the pathogens live or die?

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Thousands of people who work for the City of Los Angeles have clean water careers! Some fight pollution, some invent new technologies, and some are certified treatment plant operators. Other work in labs and even on boats.

What's your future job? Visit our Careers gallery!

elc clean water careers