City officials and community leaders gathered this morning on a field near Griffith Park for the ground breaking of what will eventually be a pair of giant, underground water storage tanks. The buried Headworks Reservoir – with a capacity to hold 110 million gallons of water – will help the LADWP meet federal water guidelines and serve as a replacement for the above ground Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs. So, what happens to the Silver Lake reservoirs once they are no longer part of the city’s water supply?
The plan for now is that the reservoirs, surrounded by a popular walking path, dog park, meadow and expensive hillside homes, to remain open bodies of water. But beyond that the details – ranging from whether the land surrounding the water will be turned into park space or if that black chain link fence will be removed – will still need to be worked out in what will be lengthy process. Todd Leitz, spokesman for Silver Lake councilman Tom LaBonge, said there is an expectation of further improvements and community investment in the reservoir property. “It’s an ongoing dialogue that’s going to happen between the DWP, the city and community.”
Any changes, however, remain years away. The Silver Lake reservoirs can’t be put out of service until their $230 million underground counterparts are completed. The first underground concrete reservoir- which will replace the Ivanhoe reservoir, the smaller of the two Silver Lake reservoirs – is not expected to be operating until 2014, according to the DWP. The replacement for the larger Silver Lake reservoir, which has still not bee financed, is tentatively scheduled to be finished in 2017.
Craig Collins, head of the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy,* a nonprofit group that has been involved in reservoir issues, said the construction of the Headworks project marks the beginning of a new era for Silver Lake’s reservoirs. “We are working to ensure that the next chapter in the life of the Silver Lake Reservoirs will include improved public space, enhanced wildlife habitat, more efficient use of the DWP’s scarce water supply, and will contribute towards the restoration of the watershed we all depend on.”
- Headworks reservoirs on tap. Daily News
* The Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy is an Eastsider advertiser.