By LUCY GUANUNA
SILVER LAKE — What looks like a giant bath tub ring has formed around the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs as the water level has been slowly dropping. Has the L.A. Department of Water & Power begun to drain the reservoirs as part of a pipeline construction project? No, the agency said it has not been draining the pair of reservoirs. But it also has not been refilling them either.
The remaining water will eventually be drained for about 12 months as part of the construction of a new water pipeline on the bed of the Silver Lake Reservoir. But work on that project is not expected to begin until late this year or early next year, said Kim Hughes, a spokeswoman for the LADWP.
The agency, however, has also not been replenishing water lost to evaporation, which has resulted in a drop in the water level, said Larry Kaplan with the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy. Hughes confirmed Kaplan’s explanation.
“With a historic drought, putting in drinking water only to drain it again would be pretty wasteful,” Kaplan said.
The pipeline that will be built across the bed of the reservoir is part of the project to replace the open-air Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs with underground replacement storage tanks – known as the Headworks Reservoir – now being constructed near Griffith Park. The project is designed to meet meet more stringent federal water quality standards. Once the project is completed, the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs will be refilled and hold non-potable water.
While much of the new pipe will be built on the reservoir bed, about 1,600-feet of the pipeline will also run through Silver Lake Drive between Armstrong Avenue to Tesla and then from Tesla to Hawick Street. The in-road construction is slated to begin spring 2015 and will leave Silver Lake Drive traffic limited to one direction, while Tesla will be used as a detour.
The LADWP has rescheduled a Silver Lake Reservoir Walk, originally planned for this past weekend, to Saturday, to Sept. 27.
Lucy Guanuna has reported on a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.