City officials will begin the process of refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir this evening, nearly two years after the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power emptied it back in the summer of 2015.
The refill is happening slightly ahead of schedule, thanks to an unexpected influx of water flowing in through the city’s aqueduct system after one of the wettest winters in years.
LADWP originally planned to bring water back to the reservoir in May, with a slow refill process projected to take up to a year. With the new source of water, however, officials now say it should take just two months.
The reservoir, completed in 1908, was emptied so that LADWP workers could remove it from Los Angeles’s drinking water storage network. Per federal regulations, the city is replacing open air reservoirs like Silver Lake and neighboring Ivanhoe with covered storage facilities like the new Headworks Reservoir, north of Griffith Park.
Since it was emptied, some have pushed for LADWP and city officials to consider plans to repurpose the reservoir as a fully realized public space, but plans for reinventing the body of water have been largely put on the back burner as Silver Lake locals have pushed for a quick refill.
The water is set to start flowing at 5 p.m., though those eager to see liquid gushing into the bone-dry reservoir may be disappointed. The refill will start at Ivanhoe (which recently lost its shade balls), with water expected to spill over into the Silver Lake Reservoir in about two weeks.