Curb inlets trap trash before it can makes its way to the ocean. Photo: City of San Diego Storm Drain Inlet Pilot Study report.

Pollution is no laughing matter…

It’s been dry — really dry. But as soon as the rains come, San Diegans will remember what ocean pollution looks and smells like.

Rain water will start gushing through those storm drains (remember what that looks like?), carrying all kinds of toxic gunk out to our beloved waterways.

We care about this because stormwater runoff can make you (and fish and other wildlife) sick.

inewsource reporter Leo Castaneda took over the stormwater beat this week to tell you about the $2.5 million in fines and upgrades the city is taking on to settle claims that it did a poor job of inspecting stormwater treatment systems installed by businesses and by its own workers.

Leo reported,

“The city has until Nov. 1 to notify 142 private property owners that they must bring their stormwater management systems up to code.

If it misses the November deadline, the city could face daily fines of $10,000 a day. If the businesses fail to comply, each can be fined $100 a day up to $250,000.”

The city says it’s taking this all very seriously.

In addition to the story, inewsource gives you the data behind it all. Check out our map of all the noncompliant businesses.

…but getting your attention about pollution can be funny.

This morning, Leo shows you how the city has been trying to get your attention focused on stormwater for years. And they figured out… it can be funny.

Particularly if you’re a tourist covered with slime.

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Brad Racino was the assistant editor and senior investigative reporter at inewsource. He's a big fan of transparency, whistleblowers and government agencies forgetting to redact key information from FOIA requests. Brad received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri...