On a clear, crisp morning at Whitsett Sports Field in North Hollywood — locally known as NoHo — Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. City Council members Paul Krekorian and Nury Martinez hosted the groundbreaking for the most important local water project in the City in more than a decade.
The NoHo West Remediation Project, a $92 million effort, will pump solvent (1,4 dioxane) — contaminated groundwater from the San Fernando Basin, run it through sand separators, cartridge filters, granulated activate carbon and advanced oxidation/UV treatment — a process that cleans the pumped groundwater — and then blends the clean water with treated water from the L.A. Aqueduct Filtration Plant for delivery to L.A. Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers. When completed, the project will deliver nearly 12K acre-feet per year of water supply. Steve Moore, the vice-chair of the State Water Resources Control Board was there to announce that Proposition 1 water bond funds will cover $44.5 million of the project’s cost.
This project is the first major part of a larger effort for the City to remediate the San Fernando Valley Groundwater Basin, a basin so contaminated with TCE, PCE and other solvents from the aerospace industry and other sources that much of it is part of a federal Superfund site. For over 30 years, there has been a lack of progress on remediating the historic contamination and getting polluters to pay for the damages to the City’s precious, San Fernando Valley groundwater basin. The City decided to not continue waiting for the Superfund case to be settled in order to clean up the aquifer. Instead, they took matters into their own hands while receiving the financial support from the state.
This LADWP led project will clean up the basin and provide San Fernando Valley residents with augmented local water supplies. When all phases of the final project are completed — at a cost of an estimated $600 million — more than 100K acre-feet of water supply will be provided to Valley residents: enough water for the entire city of San Francisco! In order to complete the full project in a timely manner at low cost to LADWP customers, further Proposition 1 water bond funding assistance from the State Water Board is absolutely critical.
During his remarks, Mayor Garcetti stated, “Water is our most precious resource — and creating a more resilient, self-reliant Los Angeles means increasing the amount of water we source locally. The decontamination of this historic groundwater basin is a critical step in achieving our goal to reduce our dependence on imported water, so Angelenos will always have access to healthy, clean drinking water.”