Rowena Ponds in Los Feliz left temporarily high and dry

Dry waterfall at the Rowena Ponds

LOS FELIZ — The L.A. Department of Water and Power has temporarily drained the Rowena Ponds — an artificial lake complete with waterfall located behind a tall green fence at the corner of Rowena and Hyperion avenues.

The decorative lake and six acres of park-like grounds were built more than 20 years ago above a 10-million gallon water storage tank known as the Rowena Reservoir or the Rowena Tank.

The water from the ponds was drained beginning last month “to remove any organic material that has built up, to inspect the ponds liners and filtration system, to perform any needed minor maintenance work, and to refresh the pond water for algae and odor control,” the LADWP said in a statement.

The refilling of the ponds is scheduled to begin early next month.

Despite the park-like landscape, the Rowena Ponds remain off limits to the public to the consternation of some who have complained about the availability of nearby park space.

Why can’t the public stroll around the grounds? Officials say that high-voltage electrical and other equipment related to the reservoir tank poses a hazard to those who wander nearby.

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  1. What are the coyotes that live in there going to drink?

  2. So fucking stupid to spend that much money on landscaping, fountains etc, and then fence it in so it cant be enjoyed.

    I assume its for security reasons? I always shake my head when I see that giant green fence and what looks like a really cool area.

    Not that the intersection parking nor the neighborhood could handle the extra traffic…

    still, seems such a shame.

    • A shame perhaps. But yo wouldn’t want people using your private property as a park if yoo had a nice lawn and beautiful landscaping.

      • I’m in Moreno heights, and they do. Ever since I got a ring camera, people walk their dogs through my yard like its a public park. New neighbors up here dont seem to have any respect. Been here since 06. Its sickening to see people tresspass 4 times a week… I never knew. Shame to have to fence my property…

  3. “Despite the park-like landscape, the Rowena Ponds remain off limits to the public to the consternation of some who have complained about the availability of nearby park space”.

    It’s not a park, it is private property. What part don’t some people get?

    • LA DWP is a publicly owned utility, therefore……… it belongs to us. It may be under the jurisdiction of the DWP but not “private” property. Get it?


      Non-profit public entity managed by locally elected officials/ public employees.

      Publicly owned utilities (POUs) are subject to local public control and regulation. POUs are organized in various forms including municipal districts, city departments, irrigation districts, or rural cooperatives. Municipal districts may include territories outside city limits or may not even serve the entire city.

  4. Well it looks like the “private property” owners have an open mind on the idea of turning it into a park. Also, I’m pretty sure that we the DWP is a public utility, so in a sense we “own” this land.

    “DWP Chief Operating Officer Marty Adams, who has decades of experience overseeing the reservoir, was there for the 2001 makeover. He confirms that there are “some hazards” on the site, but he also doesn’t hesitate to agree that it could be turned into a real park.

    “It has the potential,” he said, though he is quick to caution that the lake, the waterfalls and the greenery were designed for aesthetics, not public use. To open the area up would require study and retrofitting, mostly to protect and maintain the water supply below.

    “DWP isn’t in the parks business,” Adams points out. “But we are open to opportunities to use our properties in different ways.”

    In other words, the Rowena Reservoir isn’t a lost cause. City Council District 4, which contains it, could take it on. So could the Los Feliz and Silver Lake neighborhood councils. And if study and retrofitting are what’s required, why not consider larger possibilities as well?”

    Excerpt from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livable-city/la-oe-fleischer-rowena-reservoir-parks-20170807-story.html

  5. When they first renovated the Rowena Reservoir, at the community hearings we were told the paths would be open to the public- if I remember correctly, that was a selling point for community approval and getting the funds approved. Then some bureaucrat or other pulled the rug out from that assurance, without further community notice. The public was allowed a walk through on the official opening date, but that’s the only time I remember anyone but employees, etc, setting foot inside.

  6. After some push broomin’, looks like it would be fun to skateboard in.

    • unreal…. I remember the time I first looked it up on google maps to see what the hell it was. I was SHOCKED to find a beautiful park with meandering paths and whatnot.

      Such a con…

      I know people have mixed feelings about doing this at the Silver Lake reservoir, but look at the meadow. Its worked out wonderfully I’ve never heard a single complaint from anyone in the neighborhood. Although its been nicknamed “hipster beach” by some, I only see families enjoying it. Echo park is amazingly beautiful as well…

      To keep that property fenced and landscaped like that is just nonsense by DWP. then again I’m not a shareholder, and it could be a “homeland security issue”. I know in the case of SL reservoir, any damage to that dam would be a huge catastrophe to the people and buildings in the waters path…

      Thats not the case with rowena.

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