The waters of Echo Park Lake are not true blue

The grand opening of Echo Park Lake this past weekend found park visitors getting reacquainted with their favorite landmarks, including the  park’s landmark green bridge,  the pink lotus blossoms and the blue lake. Wait a minute. A blue lake?

As anyone remembers, the color of Echo Park Lake used to range from a muddy brown to a  grayish green accented by water-logged corn-cobs and plastic bags.  But the waters of Echo Park Lake this weekend resembled the dark blues and emerald greens of Lake Tahoe. Was this new blue a result of that $45-million water quality clean up? Nope. Echo Park Lake got a dye job.

In this case, the dye is part of a treatment to to control algae and also provide nutrients to the lake’s lotus bed and other new aquatic plants, according to city employees who work for the contract administration division of the city’s Bureau of Public Works.  The dye was added a few days before the grand opening ceremony on Saturday. The new, blue hue took some city workers by surprise.  When one Public Works employee arrived to the lake on Thursday, he said his reaction was, “Hey, it’s blue!”

Perhaps it was the combination of the cleaner, colorful water and warm weather  that prompted many kids and adults to wade and splash around in lake,  which  is not allowed no mater what color the water, according to Recreation and Parks officials.

Fans of the new look will only have a  few more days to enjoy the turquoise waters.  The dye is expected to fade away in a week or so and the lake will return to normal. After that, you will have to use an Instagram filter to get the same effect.


  1. My homies went in the water for a swim, I hope they are o kay! It looked to good to be true.

  2. I remember watching fireworks over Echo Park lake as a little kid (70’s) great place to go with my grandparents

  3. Wow! It does look like Lake Tahoe. Very beautiful. Have to visit the area soon. I remember going on walks with my parents in the 70s. Loved the vibe of that park.

  4. How many dead bodies did they find in there when they drained it? Soon the Dyed water will be back to its trash filled brown.

  5. I went on Saturday afternoon, when there were way over a thousand people there, and again, this afternoon, when there were many many people, but not so many that you couldn’t get a good sense of the lovely grounds. We are so happy to have our lake back (and she’s more beautiful than ever before)!

  6. went yesterday and had a great time. went today and I am still blown away by how great the lake looks. I was really disappointed at how much trash had accumulated in just 1 day though. saw lots of people littering; 2 people helped me pick up trash for awhile.

    the playground is really filthy now: trash, giant empty cans of iced tea, remnants of corn on a stick, silly string everywhere (including the lake), Dorito’s bags,… the trash cans were overflowing and people had apparently given up. please bring a bag and haul your trash home; and for heavens sake: don’t buy the silly string.

  7. Its a natural pond, not a swimming pool. A message to the city “experts” Let the professionals maintain the lake in a natural way don’t put dye in it. A good dose of nitrifying bacteria poured into the lake would have done more to help the algae bloom than a bunch of blue dye. This is not a sterile swimming pool its a living organism. Time will balance the pond. That and keeping the trash out of it.

    • Your mouth is a living organism full of bacteria, nitrifying your mouth is what you should be doing!

    • Assuming it was copper sulfate that was added, the blue is a side effect precipitated by the presence of copper. It works very well to control algae or to inhibit blooms.

  8. The old ‘dead bodies in Echo Park’ resurfaces…get it? Miso funny.

    Unless encased in the ol’ ‘concrete kimono’ — thank you Bob Hope’s writing staff for that one — a corpse will first float to the surface from gases, likely drift north with prevailing winds and soon be seen by the first walkers/joggers.

    The lake has had a few drownings over the decades, but I have never heard of a floater being spotted. Anyone else?

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