LADWP Completes Shade Ball Cover Project at the LA Reservoir
Posted by Councilmember Englander on August 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM
This Monday, I was honored to join Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Manager Marcie Edwards to drop the last 20,000 of 96 million shade balls into the Los Angeles Reservoir. The shade balls will prevent sunlight-triggered chemical reactions, deter birds and other wildlife, and protect the reservoir water from rain and windblown dust.
The $34.5 million project is a cost effective investment in infrastructure, saving $250 million compared to other engineering concepts considered to bring LA Reservoir into compliance with new regulations. Its benefits include helping LADWP meet water quality mandates set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA); ensuring the highest quality drinking water; and avoiding losing about 300 million gallons of water to evaporation each year.
LADWP is the first utility company to use shade balls to mitigate water quality issues in drinking water. The innovative, in-house solution has been used in LADWP’s open-air reservoirs since 2008 to block sunlight and prevent chemical reactions as well as curtail algae blooms. The balls come with the added benefit of reducing evaporation off the reservoir surfaces by 85 to 90 percent. They are currently in place at Upper Stone, Elysian and Ivanhoe reservoirs.
The LA Reservoir is in LADWP’s Van Norman Complex in Sylmar, along with the LA Aqueduct Filtration Plant and the Dr. Pankaj Parekh Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility. It holds 3.3 billion gallons of water, enough to supply the entire city of Los Angeles for up to three weeks.
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-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District