Environment & Science

Residents discuss the future of the Silver Lake Reservoir

File: This April 9, 2010 photo shows the Department of Water's Silver Lake Reservoir in Los Angeles.
File: This April 9, 2010 photo shows the Department of Water's Silver Lake Reservoir in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

Silver Lake residents get another chance to vent their frustration over the bone-dry Silver Lake Reservoir Tuesday at a town hall meeting. Options for what to fill the reservoir with once construction is finished at the beginning of next year will be laid out for discussion.

The giant concrete structure has been empty since last year. Crews with the Department of Water and Power have been constructing pipelines to carry drinking water to a new underground storage facility. 

The three options include filling it with stormwater, recycled water or groundwater, L.A. Councilman David Ryu spokesperson Estevan Montemayor told KPCC. The utility will recommend the third option, Montemayor added.

Stormwater would not provide an adequate water supply to refill the reservoir to historic levels, he said. Maintaining water quality would also be difficult, making it a less viable option.  

If residents expressed an interest in using recycled water, the projected timeline would be longer than the community is requesting, Montemayor said, but it would be able to provide an adequate water supply.

Using groundwater for the reservoir is the recommended choice from the utility because the supply is sufficient and it would speed up the timeline, at least a bit.

"They could begin refilling by May of next year and maintaining water quality would be much easier,” he said. A plan for maintaining that quality will also be discussed at the meeting. 

Montemayor said there's something they wouldn't be bringing up unless it's brought up by residents: Potable water. 

"The three options we're looking at are either stormwater, recycled water or groundwater — we're not talking about potable water. That is something that's been a bit contentious in the past. We're moving forward with the most environmentally sensitive option," Montemayor said. 

Another meeting will be held in November with stakeholder groups and community members centering around the future of the reservoir and its long-term upgrades and improvements. 

Tuesday's meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at John Marshall High School.