While Echo Park Lake awaits a major clean up and Silver Lake’s Ivanhoe Reservoir is getting a new boardwalk, there’s news at another large but lesser known local body of water, the Elysian Reservoir. As the photo above shows, most of the water at in the 55 million gallon reservoir hidden in Elysian Park north of Dodger Stadium has been drained, exposing the concrete basin and giant sacks of “shade balls” that once floated on the surface. The water is being drained so that drilling and soils tests can be conducted along the bottom and slopes of the reservoir in preparation for a major and controversial water quality improvement project proposed by the Department of Water & Power, according to a DWP spokesperson.
The testing should be completed in about two months, with the reservoir being washed and refilled with drinking water – and those shade balls. While the soils testing will be relatively brief, the preparation and debate over the water quality could be lengthy as the agency and park advocates weigh proposals to cover the Elysian Reservoir, built in 1903, or build giant underground tanks topped with parkland.