Echo Park Lake is all wet – again

A hard-hat tour of Echo Park Lake this morning revealed that  water once again covered much of  the bottom of the lake as it is being refilled in the final phases of an $85 million clean up.  Granted, the water in some spots was only a few inches deep in several sections but the lake was once again looking like lake instead of a dusty construction site as had been the case for many months. In fact, one of the new wetlands created on the west side of the  14-acre lake resembled a rice paddy as workers (pictured above)  waded and hunched over in the cold water to plant some of the nearly 20,000 aquatic plants that will grow in the lake.  The new Echo Park Lake, which has a capacity of about 27 million gallons, will be more water wise than its predecessor, explained project engineer Julie Allen, who lead this morning’s tour.

For one thing, bentonite was mixed into the lake bottom to create a thick, clay-like  barrier to help retain the water and prevent it from seeping away. In addition, a new filtration system was designed to collect and clean storm drain water, which  would be pumped into the lake (the water will be monitored to make sure it remains safe). As a result, drinking water will no longer have to be used on a regular basis to keep the lake filled. “That was the goal,” Allen said.

The lake and surrounding 29-acre park are scheduled to reopen this spring but no date has been set.

Only a few inches of water covers the lotus bed in the northwest corner of the lake.

Worker installs netting to protect newly planted lotus from birds.

Aquatic plants, stored in the boxes floating on the water, being  planted  in one of  four wetlands. The wetlands will help filter the water.

New irrigation pipes being installed around the lake.

Related Links:

  • The lotus return to Echo Park Lake. The Eastsider
  • Botanical Banquet: Bird develop a taste for Echo Park Lake wetlands. The Eastsider
  • The Echo Park Lake lotus are alive, well and living in Reseda. The Eastsider



  1. Oh, wow………beautiful! I so hope people will now appreciate this quintessential LA spot more than before, and not trash it. I’m convinced that years of trashing and pulling out the beautiful lotus flowers and roots contributed to their demise.

    • Sandy if your convinced on what you think you know VS what you should know, I would suggest you do a little more research on plant biology and wildlife. if the lake was that contaminated the fish and other animals on the food chain would have shown the same results or evidence of your claim.

      DFG has done testing on the fish with scale samples and no levels of contaminents showed up in their testing beyond the safe level for human consumption. The lotus were delibratly killed off to push this project forwared. I mean wouldn’t anyone want to be part of this $85 million payroll?

      100 years of this plant growing fine with or with out urban poullution which has always been present when the population grows, and all of a sudden in 1 year the plant dies off? Seems a little bit to fishy to me, wouldn’t you think?

  2. YAY!!! I can’t wait for the birds to return. Their home got flipped!

  3. Hooray. This is so great. Please taggers and vandals leave it alone.

  4. I absolutely love this spot. It will be even more beautiful now that it has been restored thoughtfully. Can’t wait to walk around it and watch the lotus blossoms and other plant life evolve.

  5. Off-leash, right?? 🙂

  6. It is nice that they are trying to make the lake like it used to be, but until they can keep the area clean, it is a waste of time and money. I have walked my dogs around that area for the whole re-construction project and the trash, which was supposely sub-contracted out, has been un-acceptable, along with the 3 (only) overflowing trash cans. I have called downtown several times and they try to clean it up within 48 hours and then it is forgotten again until the next call. Sad.

  7. I can’t wait to see the park reopen!

  8. Anyone know if they’re planning on bringing the paddle boats back?

  9. Brandon Burkhart

    I heard paddle boats are coming back.

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