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LA Department of Water and Power to begin refilling Silver Lake Reservoir in April
After nearly a year-and-a-half of an empty concrete reservoir basin — filled only with construction trucks, equipment, unsightly weeds and the occasional small water puddle behind a chain-link fence – Silver Lake Reservoir will begin refilling in mid-April. The reservoir was emptied in late 2015 to allow for the construction of the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex (SLRC) Bypass Project.
The SLRC Bypass Project was part of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) compliance effort to address updated State and Federal drinking water quality regulations that require LADWP to cover, bypass, or treat water stored in its open reservoirs. The bypass project was built to divert drinking water away from Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs to the new Headworks Reservoir, a covered water storage facility, constructed as part of the SLRC Storage Replacement Project.
According to the LADWP, Silver Lake Reservoir will begin refilling ahead of the originally planned May scheduled time-frame thanks to this water year’s above average snowpack runoff water from the Eastern Sierra region. The current plan calls for just two months to refill the reservoir. This option replaces the original plan of using local water resources that would have taken approximately 12 months.
“The abundant water supply from this winter’s snowfall has come to us with an added benefit,” Richard Harasick, LADWP senior assistant general manager of water, said. “With the above average snowpack, we have a surplus of water in the LA Aqueduct System and with it the opportunity to refill Silver Lake Reservoir ahead of schedule.”
Once filled, the reservoir will be kept at historic levels ranging between 440 and 450 feet above sea level. LADWP’s Silver Lake Restoration Project is installing approximately 3,100 feet of pipeline connecting a well located at LADWP’s Ripple Street Yard to existing pipeline infrastructure at Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs. Non-potable water from this well will be used to maintain reservoir levels.
Local politicians hailed the upcoming plan to refill Silver Lake Reservoir.
“The recent wet weather has provided us with the opportunity to restore water to the Silver Lake Reservoir ahead of schedule. However, we need to be mindful that water is a precious resource, that this overflow is a gift, and we need to continue to be vigilant in our conservation efforts for water use,” said 13th District Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. “This principle will factor into our upcoming community Master Plan process to ensure a long-term, sustainable future for the Reservoir.”
“I want to thank the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for holding true to their promise to refill the Silver Lake Reservoir. Today’s announcement guarantees the reservoir will be refilled at a faster rate than originally anticipated. This is a big win for the nearby residents and all Angelenos alike,” said 4th District Councilmember David Ryu. “Over the coming months, we will continue to work with all stakeholders in a transparent and engaging community process as we discuss the long-term future of the Silver Lake Reservoir.”
A community meeting was also held last week by LADWP to advise residents and stakeholders in the specifics for refilling Silver Lake Reservoir and in the plans for maintaining the reservoir’s water quality.