Surf’s Up! PENETRON Helps Clean the Beaches in Santa Monica

EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. (PRWEB) AUGUST 08, 2018 - At the start of August 2018, Santa Monica inaugurated the “Pier Outfall” project, an enormous storm water runoff storage system, to improve the water quality of the Santa Monica beaches and increase the city’s resiliency to drought – a chronic Southern California challenge. PENETRON ADMIX was used to waterproof the massive water cistern, the central part of the new runoff reclamation effort.

The worst drought in California’s history officially ended in April 2018, after an unusually wet winter (even though only 2” of rain have fallen since). But Santa Monica, a coastal Southern California city just west of Los Angeles, is maintaining water conservation targets for all residents – and undertaking several ambitious water conservation projects to achieve complete self-sufficiency within the next few years. According to Dean Kubani, Santa Monica’s Chief Sustainability Officer, these efforts include recycling wastewater and building massive underground cisterns to capture storm runoff.

“Our city council suggested these measures back in 2012,” adds Dean Kubani. “In light of climate change and the anticipated impacts, which we know are longer, deeper, and more frequent droughts, and also reduced snowpack in the Sierras.”

The Pier Drainage Basin that was just completed is a 1.6 million-gallon cistern underneath a parking lot just north of the Santa Monica pier. The basin comprises a series of open concrete boxes, positioned several feet underground, that will capture all the runoff from the downtown area of Santa Monica whenever it rains. The harvested runoff will then be diverted from the cistern to the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF) for treatment.

SMURRF treats storm water run-off that used to go directly into Santa Monica Bay through storm drains, which includes pollutants such as litter, oil and animal waste. After a rainstorm, the system can generate about 500,000 gallons a day of treated water, which can be recycled for many uses. In total, the project can divert over 1.6 million gallons of polluted runoff away from the Santa Monica Bay.

“The main benefit of the project is cleaner water at the local beaches,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “In addition, the treated run-off water can now be used for non-potable uses, such as irrigation and flushing toilets, which will augment Santa Monica’s water resources.”

PENETRON ADMIX was specified by the project contractor to ensure the huge, 1.6 million-gallon underground concrete cistern was waterproof and resistant to the chemicals and pollutants often encountered in the runoff. By adding PENETRON ADMIX to the concrete mix, the contractor was also able to save substantial time on the waterproofing portion of the project schedule. Oldcastle Precast in nearby Fontana, CA, added PENETRON ADMIX to the concrete mix during batching, and Olson Precast produced the eight manholes as part of the cistern structure.

Once added to the concrete mix, PENETRON ADMIX reacts with the water in the fresh concrete to form an insoluble network of crystals, which fill in cracks, pores and voids normally found in concrete. This process takes place throughout the concrete matrix, making it impermeable to the moisture, chemicals and pollutants found in the typical urban runoff in Santa Monica.

“It’s smart to plan for the future,” says Christopher Chen. “Penetron is proud to be part of a durable solution – Santa Monica’s Pier Outfall plan – that will provide water for its residents and businesses, even with the more frequent droughts predicted for the region.”

The Penetron Group is a leading manufacturer of specialty construction products for concrete waterproofing, concrete repairs and floor preparation systems. The Group operates through a global network, offering support to the design and construction community through its regional offices, representatives and distribution channels.

For more information on Penetron waterproofing solutions, please visit or, email, or contact the Corporate Relations Department at 631-941-9700.

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The Penetron Group

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