Prop O Project to Resume on Temescal

By Sue Pascoe

After a Prop O two-phase project was begun in 2011 to clean and reuse stormwater runoff in Temescal Canyon Park, construction activity will finally resume after an almost two-year delay.

Kendrick Okuda, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering Proposition O Implementation program manager, spoke at the Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting on Aug. 25.

He said the next phase will take about a year and involve construction of a new water-treatment building (near the existing restrooms) just north of PCH on Temescal Canyon Road.

Construction material to be used for Phase II of the Temescal Stormwater Project is near the playground in lower Temescal Canyon.
Construction material to be used for Phase II of the Temescal Stormwater Project is near the playground in lower Temescal Canyon.

The Temescal project was designed and approved after voters passed Prop O in November 2004. The Clean Water Bond authorized $500 million in general obligation bonds for projects that included cleaning storm water before it entered Santa Monica Bay.

Construction on Phase 1 of the Temescal project began in January 2012 and was initially supposed to be completed a year later at a cost of $14.9 million. That phase involved taking Storm water flowing through the existing storm drain beneath Temescal Canyon Road and diverting it through a hydrodynamic separator before going into a 1.25-million-gallon detention tank, which could then discharged it into a sewer system that leads to the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Playa del Rey.

In March 2013, while construction was underway on the underground tank, worker Gilbert Vargas, 50, lost his life when dirt caved in around him. A second worker was injured in the accident. The project was shut down temporarily during an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) investigation.

New project manager Katie Doherty said that Phase I was completed in April 2015, under budget, at about $14.2 million.

An old Prop O Website initially had Phase II as being completed by July 2015 at a cost of $3.7 million. (The new projection for completion is fall 2017, with a total cost of $4.4 million.) Visit:

Doherty explained the higher cost. “The new treated stormwater line associated with our project will run parallel to the irrigation main line so it is efficient to do replace both at the same time.

“The existing irrigation main line has been problematic for the Department of Recreation and Parks for some time and replacing it will ensure the new treatment system we are constructing functions properly,” she said.

Doherty was asked about the delay between the two phases. “Work on Phase II began as Phase I was nearing completion,”

Doherty said. “The duration between Phase I and Phase II reflects the time needed to hire a consulting firm, design, permit and award the project. This project also required a protracted easement acquisition phase.”

She was asked about the easement. “We were required to obtain an operations and maintenance easement for the stormwater storage and treatment facilities being installed by this project within the park property.

“The easement acquisition process for these facilities did take longer than initially anticipated,” Doherty said.

As part of the project a submersible pump will be installed to take water out of the existing 1.25-million gallon tank (located below the playground), to be used as potable water for irrigation. A new irrigation line will be laid on the east side of Temescal Canyon Road and five trees will be planted.

An old Prop O website provided the following detail, “This Project includes the construction of: a 120-ft. stormwater line from 500 gallon per minute pump located inside an existing underground reservoir to the treatment building; a 31’4” by 13’4” (416.3 square feet) treatment building (to include two peristaltic booster pumps; self-cleaning 200 micron filter with a flow capacity of 2,000 gpm; 490 gallon double-contained tank on a raised platform; treatment agent will be sodium-hypochlorite at 12.5% solution); constructed with a fire suppression system; an exterior air conditioning condenser unit will be installed; a 2,530-ft. treated water distribution line from the treatment building to the existing Temescal Canyon Park Irrigation System, most of which, 2,372 feet, will be located within the right-of-way of Temescal Canyon Road.”

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