Will the DWP dig up more than a mile of West Silver Lake Drive to install a new water pipeline or will it drain the 800-million Silver Lake Reservoir for 18 months to complete the same project? On Wednesday night, the governing board of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted in favor of backing the Department of Water and Power as the agency studies the feasibility of draining the reservoir to complete the pipeline, a plan that would create an eyesore for many months but would minimize the impact of construction on nearby residents, according to proponents. The issue, first reported by The Eastsider last month, has divided residents, with many emphatically opposed to draining the landmark reservoir even on a temporary basis.
Council member Michael Masterson* emphasized that the motion adopted Wednesday night does not mean the council favors draining the reservoir over digging up West Silver Lake Drive. Instead, the council wanted to show its support for the DWP’s decision to explore the possibility of draining the water and installing a mile-long, 66-inch diameter pipeline along the bottom of the reservoir.
“We have asked the DWP to explore all options,” Masterson said. “There maybe some other downsides [to draining] that we don’t even know about yet,
The motion, which passed with the support of a dozen council members, summarized the benefits of this option:
By locating the bypass tunnel inside the Reservoir area itself, the LADWP will be able to mitigate the particulate matter that is released throughout the neighborhood by open trench tunneling which is a health hazard. The regulator station would be located inside the Reservoir property and therefore the “grassy knoll” and its trees would not be impacted. Plan 4 could also potentially save the ratepayers over $20 million.
The DWP, which made a presentation on the topic at Wednesday’s night council meeting, continues to study the option of installing the pipeline at the bottom of the reservoir. But no decision has been made and the agency would have to amend an environmental impact report if that was the case.
Even if the DWP decided to drain the reservoir, the motion noted that about 1,500 feet of West Silver Lake Drive would still have to be dug up to lay a pipeline that would then turn into the bed of the reservoir just south of the dam that divided the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs.
* Correction: A previous story quoted a Steve Matterson. That’s wrong. Masterson’s first name is Michael. Also, the story quoted from a neighborhood council motion that made reference to Plan 3. It should have made reference to Plan 4.