LADWP’s Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir Returns to Service with Newly Installed Floating Cover

Flexible Cover Safeguards Water Quality, Ensures Water Supply Reliability

Los Angeles (October 9, 2019) – The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) recently completed the installation of a 700,000 square-foot floating cover at its Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir as part of an initiative to protect and preserve the city’s water quality. This 139 million-gallon-reservoir, first constructed in 1954, is an important water storage facility located in the Bel Air area. It provides water to approximately 450,000 residents in the areas of West Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades, Marina Del Rey/LAX, and the UCLA campus. The floating cover–large enough to cover 12 football fields– helps preserve water quality, enhance water supply reliability, and comply with State and Federal laws that require drinking water reservoirs to be covered.

“LADWP takes great pride in completing this major infrastructure project ensuring access to clean, safe, reliable drinking water for the communities we serve,” said LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin L. Adams. “The innovative, flexible membrane cover at Upper Stone Canyon is the largest in LADWP’s water system and is an example of a wise and practical investment in our city’s water supply, providing lasting benefits for many years to come.”

In addition to the installation of the floating cover, an access road was reconstructed, the surface of the reservoir slopes were partially relined, an 800-square-foot control building was constructed, and the reservoir inlet and outlet structures were modified. The cover material is a polyethylene synthetic rubber and it is anchored to the edge of the reservoir perimeter above the top water elevation. The cover floats on the water surface, adjusting as needed to the changing water levels.

The project at Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir complies with United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) water quality standards such as the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, which protects drinking water in open-air facilities from microbiological contamination and the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule, which addresses risks from microbial pathogens and disinfectant byproducts. LADWP has installed floating covers at other reservoirs including the Santa Ynez, Eagle Rock, Lower Franklin, Elysian, and Green Verdugo Reservoirs. Installing covers have been determined to be the most environmentally superior and cost-effective solution for each reservoir to address these regulatory requirements.

Completion of the project was made possible through a $26,492,963 low-interest loan provided by the USEPA and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The anticipated total interest savings associated with the loan is $9,734,778, based on the interest rate available to the department at the time of project initiation.

“EPA values its partnership with the state of California to fund critical water projects like the improvements at Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Federal and state low-interest loans help provide communities with safe drinking water while saving money for local utilities and their customers.”

LADWP is committed to implementing innovative water management and has invested more than $1.3 billion in 26 major infrastructure projects to safeguard the city’s drinking water and meet all state and federal drinking water regulations. Click here for more information on the Upper Stone Canyon Project and other water quality projects.


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