Given how lucky we are to embrace the Santa Monica Bay, the quality of our waters is a significant issue for our district, and a priority for Bill. It's also a priority for the citizens of Los Angeles, who in 2004 overwhelmingly approved Proposition O- a $500 million general bond measure to help the city of Los Angeles clean up the polluted storm water that flows to our rivers, lakes, and beaches. Storm water runoff caused by rain, irrigation, and other water sources carries tons of trash and dangerous bacteria from our streets directly to our rivers, oceans and beaches, without treatment.
On August 18th, we moved closer to improving our water quality when the City Council approved seven Prop O projects, two of which are in our district and aimed directly at improving water quality. These two projects will help to address Federal Clean Water Act standards, called "Total Maximum Daily Loads", or TMDLs, which are the maximum amount of a pollutant that the water body can receive and still meet water quality standards.
The first of these projects is an upgrade of eight low flow diversion (LFD) facilities to divert dry weather surface runoff to the Hyperion Treatment Plant for treatment. The Council funded this project at $5.98 million (design only). Currently, these LFDs operate during the summer months from April to October, but will eventually operate year round for dry weather flows. Upon completion of the City’s eight LFDs upgrade, 100% of the dry weather flow will be diverted to the sanitary sewer for treatment at the Hyperion Treatment Plant. This will eliminate 100% of the bacteria, oil and grease, metals, and other pollutants that are currently being discharged to the Santa Monica Bay during year-round dry weather flow. (Projects are currently being analyzed for treating wet weather flow.)
The second of these projects was funded by the Council in the amount of $13.3 million and is comprised of three components, two of which (below) are in CD11:
- The first is located within the Venice area and will create shallow, landscaped depression basins to infiltrate storm water through the creation of 20 tree wells. Pollutants are removed by a number of processes and the filtered runoff can either be allowed to infiltrate into the surrounding soil, or be discharged to the storm sewer system.
- The second component of this project is at the Mar Vista Recreation Center. The project will divert dry weather flows and the “first flush” from the Sawtelle Channel to the adjacent Mar Vista Recreation Center and Park. Two acres on the east ball field will be retrofitted to divert flow from storm drains and a cistern will be built, providing for water reuse through irrigation. A smart irrigation system will also be built, which will water the fields only when weather and soil properties indicate irrigation is necessary.
Stay tuned for more Prop O projects that may come our way in the near future!