City Marks Completion of First Northeast LA Stormwater Capture Facility

Garvanza and Highland Park community members joined city officials to celebrate the completion of stormwater infrastructure and park enhancements at Garvanza Park.  The green space was reopened after being partially closed since March 2010 as the Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation, Department of Recreation and Parks, and North East Trees installed two underground stormwater facilities, a new irrigation system, 12 new trees, drought-tolerant grass, and new exercise equipment.

“Today is all about healthy living in Garvanza and Highland Park,” said Councilmember Jose Huizar. “The new Garvanza Park Rainwater Irrigation Project will improve the environmental health of our local community while the new exercise equipment will improve the physical health of its residents. I want to thank the Bureau of Sanitation, the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Garvanza community and especially, North East Trees, for their assistance in making today possible.  I am proud to have helped bring these great projects to our community.”

The Bureau of Sanitation secured funding from the US EPA and other supplemental sources to install the $3.8-million underground stormwater system that takes runoff from the Avenue 63 storm drain, cleanses it of trash, oil and other pollutants, and stores it in two detention tanks with a combined capacity of 1 million gallons per rain event.  Stormwater in one tank will be used to irrigate Garvanza Park from a sub surface drip system.  The other tank will infiltrate water into the ground to recharge the water table.  This stormwater capture and cleansing system is the first of its kind in the northeast area, and will help the city achieve water quality goals for the Arroyo Seco and the Los Angeles River. Besides the new location at Garvanza Park, the City of Los Angeles has two other stormwater capturing facilities, with two more in the works.

According the Bureau of Sanitation director Enrique Zaldivar, “The ideology of this project is that all water is one water.  Wherever it comes from, water is a precious resource that we need to protect, maximize, and optimize through innovative projects like the Garvanza Park Rainwater Irrigation Project.”  He added, “This project achieves three main things: it promotes clean water by preventing urban runoff from flowing into the Arroyo Seco and the Los Angeles River; it saves potable water by providing alternate irrigation source for the park; and it replenishes our precious water resource in the groundwater.  It truly is multi-beneficial.”

Recreation and Parks general manager Jon Kirk Mukri said, “We are pleased to be part of this amazing accomplishment in the northeast area. The new irrigation system will allow for us to continue in our efforts of saving water in our parks.” He added, “By installing fitness equipment, we have helped create a cluster area of outdoor activities for the community to enjoy.”

The Garvanza Park Rainwater Irrigation Project was conceptualized by the Bureau of Sanitation Watershed Protection Division and implemented by the community environmental group North East Trees.  US EPA funding for this environmentally-beneficial project was supplemented by State Propositions 40 and 13, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Stormwater Pollution Abatement fund.  Approximately $22,000 in Quimby park improvement funds secured by Councilmember Huizar covered the cost of the fitness equipment.

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