LADWP, Councilmember LaBonge, Federal and State Officials Cut Ribbon on Headworks East Reservoir
Los Angeles (June 18, 2015)-The Honorable Councilmember Tom LaBonge of the 4th District, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, along with Federal, and State officials dedicated the Headworks East Reservoir today, part of the massive underground infrastructure complex being built adjacent to the 134 & 5 Freeways. This multi-year construction project, located on a 43-acre site across from the north entrance to Griffith Park, replaces Silverlake and Ivanhoe reservoirs. The 110-million gallon capacity facility will improve the quality, reliability, and water quality compliance for LA’s drinking water.
“I am very proud of LADWP and salute its employees for completing this very important project here in Griffith Park to replace the Silver Lake Complex,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. “Water gives us life and this facility will be a great asset for future generations of Los Angeles residents.”
Construction on the second reservoir, Headworks West, is now under way. Once completed in 2017, both concrete structures will be buried under two to three feet of soil and native vegetation as part of the overall L.A. River Revitalization project in association with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“The Headworks Reservoir and restoration project allows LADWP to continue providing LA residents with high-quality, reliable drinking water while at the same time pay tribute to our history by helping restore the natural habitat for the enjoyment of future generations,” said Marty Adams, LADWP Assistant General Manager for the Water System.
The Headworks East Reservoir tank went into operation November 2014 in time to meet water quality compliance deadlines set for Silverlake and Ivanhoe. Construction at the site also entails a 4-megawatt hydroelectric power plant, a flow regulation station with capacity for 250 cubic feet per second, and installation of a 6,600-foot long 96-inch trunkline with a 3000-foot tunneling portion. Once completed, the only visible part of the facility will be the small hydroelectric plant and the electrical building housing the controls for the reservoir. The control building serves as a reminder of the history of the area, as it is encased in the very same granite rock that once lined the LA River and pays homage to the firm that previously owned the land, Pomeroy & Hooker.
Construction the $230-million Headworks Reservoir Project is made possible through a $127,235,853 zero-interest loan provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The anticipated total interest savings associated with the loan is $99,079,914, based on the interest rate available to the department at the time of project initiation.
“The EPA appreciates the City of LA’s key investments in infrastructure needed to ensure its drinking water is safe and secure,” said John Kemmerer, EPA’s Associate Water Director for the Pacific Southwest. “By financing drinking water improvement projects, such as building new reservoirs and installing treatment technologies, using EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, Los Angeles has saved its customers over $500 million.”
“Improving and securing drinking water resources throughout the state of California is a top priority for the State Water Resources Control Board,” said State Water Board Division of Financial Assistance Assistant Deputy Director James Maughan. “The goal of the Division of Financial Assistance is to work collaboratively, and as quickly as possible, with applicants to approve funding to get projects, such as Headworks Reservoir, from the planning phase to shovels in the ground. The State Water Board is pleased to be able to offer assistance to get projects, such as this one, completed.”
The Headworks Reservoir project has boosted the local economy by supporting 3,430 annual jobs and generating $563 million in economic benefits for Southern California, according to a 2012 economic impact analysis by the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation. The project has between 100-150 full-time workers, two on-site cement production facilities, a large-diameter tunneling machine boring 80 feet below ground level to install the new trunkline and other impressive features.
The Headwords Reservoir complies with two new U.S. EPA water quality regulations: the Stage 2 Disinfectant and Disinfection By-Products Rule and the Long-Term-2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. These regulations were put in place to better protect stored drinking water in open reservoirs from surface runoff, animals, humans and the effects of sunlight and elevated temperatures, which can degrade water quality. These problems can be eliminated by covering or bypassing open reservoirs. Once Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs are replaced by Headworks, they will no longer be used as sources of drinking water, but will be maintained as non-potable water bodies for the continued benefit of the surrounding community.