Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Refilling the Silver Lake Reservoir

This morning, Councilmember LaBonge, DWP General Manager David Nahai, and I joined community members as we opened the valve to let water return to the Silver Lake Reservoir.

DWP began draining the reservoir in January after the department discovered the presence of bromate in the water. Even though the bromate levels were below state and federal standards, DWP decided to remove the reservoir from service and drain it. Bromate is formed when bromide (which occurs naturally in water) is combined with cholorine and sunlight. Once the reservoir is back in service, drinking water will not be treated with chlorine until it leaves the reservoir and will not be exposed to sunlight, which will prevent bromate from forming again.

Here are a few facts about the Silver Lake Reservoir:

  • It holds 795 million gallons of water.
  • It will take about 15 to 20 days to refill the reservoir.
  • The discovery of bromate in the reservoir marked the first time an occurrence of this nature had been observed in drinking water.
Here's a video of the flipping of the "switch" and the first water rushing back into the reservoir.