LADWP Breaks Ground on Project to Bolster San Fernando Valley Water Quality

Nov. 13, 2002
Multi-Million Dollar Undertaking will Ensure High-Quality, Reliable Water Supply to Encino and Tarzana Customers

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has broken ground on a major water quality project that will take the Encino Reservoir offline and provide a safer, more dependable supply of water to residents in Encino, Tarzana and surrounding areas of the San Fernando Valley.

The Encino Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) enables LADWP to meet new state and federal drinking water regulations for open reservoirs in California under the Surface Water Treatment Rule while maintaining the aesthetic and environmental values of the communities surrounding the Encino Reservoir.

"The Encino Water Quality Improvement Project is a good example of collaboration between the City of Los Angeles and community members," said Councilmember Jack Weiss, whose Fifth District includes the Encino Reservoir. "We must provide clean drinking water and ensure that the treatment facility is compatible with the neighborhood where it operates. In this instance, I believe LADWP achieved both of these goals."

Currently, residents and businesses in the Encino service area get their water directly from the Encino Reservoir. The reservoir receives its water via pipeline from the Los Angeles Reservoir in Sylmar, where it's filtered and treated before delivery.

Located in the Santa Monica Mountains approximately 17 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, the $24.7 million project involves taking Encino Reservoir out of service as of January 1, 2003, and bypassing the reservoir by bringing drinking water directly from the Los Angeles Reservoir/Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant to customers in the Encino-Tarzana service area. The Encino Reservoir will continue to distribute a small amount of water while serving primarily as a storage reservoir for emergency use.

The Encino WQIP is part of a $2 billion capital investment program being undertaken by LADWP to upgrade the water system infrastructure and to improve water quality over the next decade. It is also one of LADWP's largest capital improvement projects since construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant in 1986.

"The Encino Water Quality Improvement Project is an enormous undertaking that is exemplary of the LADWP's commitment to improving what is already the highest quality water ever provided to San Fernando Valley residents," LADWP General Manager David Wiggs said. "We have worked closely with the Encino and Tarzana communities to achieve a plan that satisfies both the community's needs and the LADWP's objectives."

In addition to bypassing the reservoir by routing drinking water through a major new trunk line, the project will provide a new state-of-the-art water treatment facility on Encino Reservoir property that includes an advanced filtration system and a pumping station. The facility will generate 6.5 million gallons per day and assure high-quality water delivery to area residents.

As one of the primary goals, the new building features a low-impact design that is compatible with the surrounding area and blends into the native landscape. Several large, 50-ton trees that are more than 25 years old have been successfully transplanted outside of the construction area.

"LADWP involved the Encino and Tarzana communities and actively sought our input from day one in the planning process," said Jim Brust, Encino resident. "As a result of this win-win relationship, more than 100,000 San Fernando Valley residents are poised to benefit from a project that not only will deliver safe, high-quality water, but maintain the integrity of the surrounding environment."

The project concludes more than a decade of cooperative discussions with local residents and community groups, including the Encino Hillside Coalition, the Encino Lake Tennis Club Homeowners Association, the Encino Property Owners Association and the Homeowners of Encino. LADWP anticipates completing the new facility, which will be built by the Department and Merco Construction Engineers, by the end of 2004.

Source: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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