Statement on Garber Street Tank Project Status

October 2, 2018

In June 2018, LADWP re-initiated outreach on the proposed Garber Street Tank Project, a recycled water tank and accompanying recycled water pipeline that have been planned since the early ‘90s to serve as the final components to the existing recycled water system serving the Hansen Dam Golf Course and the Valley Generating Station.

LADWP has been in the process of reassessing the operational need for these components, given the reduction in recycled water city-wide due to conservation, as well as evaluating the possibility of minimizing purple pipe projects in favor of recharging local groundwater basins. In light of these overarching changes, the Garber Street Tank project is now on hold, along with a number of other planned recycled water projects throughout the city that LADWP is in the process of reevaluating.

The original Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for this project was completed in 1991 and among other elements, included the Garber Street tank as part of the proposed project. In the years that followed the initial EIR, a 7-million gallon tank was constructed to connect the Valley Generating Station to the City’s recycled water system. The tank was completed in June 2007 and connected to the generating station in June of 2008. In 2013, with extreme drought conditions looming and the Mayor’s Executive Order No. 5 forthcoming, the Department launched construction of the next phase which included a systematic retrofitting to prepare the golf course to receive recycled water. This systematic approach included construction of a pump station with no water storage to serve recycled water to the golf course and was completed by January of 2015. This multi-phase approach is typical of recycled water systems that need to be built over time as customers retrofit their properties and the Department installs lateral connections to reach them.

In an effort to complete the project as originally designed, LADWP began the Garber Street Tank outreach in June 2018 for a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), an environmental review document detailing how LADWP has taken information from the original EIR and applied measures that would minimize impacts from this project to its surroundings, including the environment and local residents. Public comment is a key component of the MND completion and, as such, LADWP re-initiated outreach to solicit community input and feedback.  Construction of the recycled water pipeline, pending Board review and approval, was scheduled to begin in November 2018, with the tank construction following in early 2019.

As we reevaluate and explore other options for meeting the operational needs of the system, LADWP would like to provide clarification on a few points related to this project:

  • The tank is part of the original design for the existing recycled water system serving the golf course and is intended to increase storage capacity and improve the existing system’s operational efficiency.
  • Recycled water, also known as non-potable reuse, is served through a system of purple pipes, which are operated separately from the City’s potable drinking water system and serves large customers, such as Hansen Dam Golf Course, for irrigation and industrial purposes only.
  • Tanks like the proposed Garber Street Tank are common throughout the City of Los Angeles in hillside communities that provide the necessary elevation. In fact, LADWP has 119 water tanks and reservoirs located near customers throughout our service area, many of which are in densely-populated hillside areas such as Bel-Air, Beverly Crest and the Hollywood Hills.
  • The hill at the end of the Garber Street cul-de-sac was selected as the proposed location because it provides the elevation necessary to enable an efficient, gravity-fed delivery to the existing recycled water system, and is in close proximity to the primary customer, Hansen Dam Golf Course.
  • LADWP has owned the property at 12655 Garber Street for several years and planned to demolish it to provide for the construction of an access road that would lead to the tank, with no plans to acquire additional properties in the area.
  • The safety of our communities, employees and customers is a top priority for LADWP, and as such, the design of the proposed Garber Street Tank included welded steel, which proved to be resilient during 1994 Northridge earthquake. In addition to the tank’s safety features, a comprehensive geotechnical report was prepared which included a slope stability analysis.

We look forward to continued open communication with our local customers and neighbors on this and other system needs throughout the City.