Construction is under way for the Pier Storm Drain Improvements and Dry Weather Diversion Project in Santa Monica as part of the cityís effort to better manage urban runoff.

Public works crews are installing the first lengths of pipe under the Santa Monica Pier as part of the diversion project, the first in a series of Measure V-funded projects intended to better manage urban runoff and improve the water quality of Santa Monica Bay, a public works spokesperson said. Measure V is a parcel tax that was approved by Santa Monica voters in November 2006 to fund projects that protect the bay from bacteria and other contaminants.

The 60-inch diameter high-density polyethylene pipe that is being installed is replacing a corrugated metal pipe that was installed during the 1950s. Over time, the metal pipe had severely corroded in the marine environment, leading to unintended discharge and pooling of urban runoff, according to the public works department.

The new pipe that is now being installed is expected to endure a marine environment for over a century. The new storm drain will capture all dry weather runoff and divert it to a nearby sewer on Ocean Front Walk, helping keep dry weather runoff from reaching Santa Monica Bay.

As the project continues, a concrete ìoutfall structureî will be installed to collect the water from the pipe to reduce the pooling and stagnation of water that was occurring at the end of the existing line and infiltrating into the sand. A Measure V ìWet Weatherî project is proposed to install facilities to pump the runoff back up to the urban runoff facility during the rainy season to be used for irrigation and other recycled water uses.

The Pier Storm Drain Improvements and Dry Weather Diversion Project were designed in 2008. Construction began in February and is expected to be completed by June 1st.