LADWP Officials Break Ground on Headworks Reservoir

LADWP Officials Break Ground on Headworks Reservoir

Project Funding Made Possible by the Recently Approved Water Quality Factor Increase

LOS ANGELES —Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials, joined by 4th District Councilmember Tom LaBonge, community members and representatives from the Webcor/Obayashi/Lyles construction joint venture broke ground today on the construction of Headworks Reservoir, a critical component of LADWP’s plan for compliance with drinking water regulations. Headworks Reservoir, which will be comprised of two underground buried reservoirs with a combined capacity of 110 million gallons, will allow LADWP to remove Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs from service in order to meet compliance requirements and deadlines.

“Compliance with water quality regulations are driving significant investments in our Water System,” said Ron Nichols, LADWP General Manager. “These are our customers’ dollars at work, and we look for cost-effective investments like Headworks to make sure we continue to keep our water rates low.”

LADWP is currently in the midst of a multi-year compliance agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Public Health that has several mandated deadlines. Compliance with newer water quality regulations requires major investment in LADWP’s water distribution system with $600 million in major new contracts that must be awarded this year, and $1.1 billion in capital costs over the next five years to comply with these standards. Construction of Headworks Reservoir is made possible by the funding provided the 35-cent per billing unit increase to the Water Quality Factor approved in February.

Construction of the Headworks Reservoir has been divided into four separate construction phases.  Today, LADWP broke ground on the first phase of the project, which includes construction of the 56 million gallon East Reservoir and a portion of the trunk line that connects it to the rest of the water distribution system. Later phases of the project will include additional facilities on the site, including the 54 million gallon West Reservoir and connecting trunk line, a 4-megawatt hydroelectric power plant, and a flow-regulating station.  The power plant, which will generate energy from water traveling from North Hollywood to Headworks, will cost $25 million and is expected to pay for itself in 10 years.

“This is the Department of Water and Power at its best, a quality water infrastructure improvement,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. “The Headworks Project is a state-of-the-art facility for all of Los Angeles, and I’m pleased that a park area will be created when it is completed.”

The East Reservoir is slated to be operational in November 2014, when Ivanhoe is required to be taken out of service. The West Reservoir and power plant are expected to be operational by 2017.  Once construction is complete, the underground reservoirs will be covered with three feet of soil and native vegetation.

Through a partnership between LADWP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, future plans include the construction of the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration project, which would include riparian wetlands in a park like setting and open areas with equestrian, cyclist, and pedestrian access.

For more information, view the Headworks Reservoir fact sheet here.