The LA DWP officially breaks ground today on the Headworks Reservoir project, which will put huge underground reservoirs and a power plant at the north end of Griffith Park, between Forest Lawn Drive and the LA River. The project will make Silver Lake and Ivanhoe Reservoirs obsolete (as water sources, anyway, not as recreational areas). The 43-acre Headworks project is part of DWP's efforts to stay in line with federal drinking water rules, which forbid untreated, uncovered open air reservoirs (LA has 10 of those in total), reports the LA Daily News, and "It's the first major undertaking to be funded by an increase in customers' water rates approved by the City Council last month" (another hike will probably be required to pay for the second reservoir). Plans call for two subterranean concrete reservoirs holding a total of 110 million gallons of water and "a small hdroelectric power plant that is expected to generate enough electricity to pay for itself."
The reservoirs will be buried underneath a little park with native plants, public trails, and a section of wetlands. Charmingly, the Headworks area was one of LA's early sources of water: "The sloping Headworks site is so named because it's where the city originally diverted water from the river, and where the first groundwater pumping station was located." Work will start in earnest over the summer and the first reservoir (the east one) should be open in late 2014. The full project is expected to be finished in 2017, after which the landscaping will go in.
· Headworks reservoirs are on tap [LADN]