LOS ANGELES - A new rainwater harvesting system in Venice was unveiled today, along with guidelines on collecting and using rain, storm, and urban runoff waters. The system at Penmar Park, located at 1341 Lake Street, has the capacity to capture and treat up to three million gallons of such water, which will be reused for irrigation.
"Typically each person in Los Angeles uses about 130 gallons of water per day. With ten million people living in the greater Los Angeles area, this equals about 1.3 billion gallons of water used every day," said Angelo Bellomo, Director of Environmental Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "The ability to retain and effectively use rainwater will lessen our dependence on imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River. This is especially important in light of current projections that predict the county's population will reach 14 million by the year 2020."
Rain, storm, and urban runoff waters need to be treated before they can be utilized. Public Health, in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and Department of Recreation and Parks, the City of Santa Monica, Heal the Bay, and TreePeople, have developed rainwater harvesting matrix guidelines to ensure that such waters are correctly utilized and tested. System guidelines have been developed and divided into four categories (tiers), ranging from least polluted to most polluted. The watershed at the Penmar project has the nearby Santa Monica Airport as a contributor, which is classified as a "most polluted" category four because it is considered an industrial source.
Projects similar to the Penmar Park project are planned throughout Los Angeles County and will increase as cities and water management agencies continue to meet the growing water needs of the communities they serve.
"LA's Sanitation Bureau is pleased to partner with the Los Angeles County Public Health, other agencies, and the environmental community to set the standards for rainwater harvesting and use," said Enrique C. Zaldivar, Director of City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. "We look forward to implementing these standards on our stormwater infrastructure enhancements like the Penmar Rainwater Capture and Use Project in Venice. The fruits of our collaboration will help us achieve watershed protection, water quality enhancement, and water conservation and augmentation as we make Los Angeles the greenest and cleanest big City in America while ensuring a waterwise and sustainable future."
"I'm very excited that the Public Health and Watershed Management communities have come together to create these guidelines that will open the door for wide-scale adoption of rainwater harvesting throughout the region," said Andy Lipkis, Founder and President of Tree People. "It means that rainwater can now play significant role in securing our water supply while helping help rebuild the economy."
For more information on the rainwater harvesting guidelines, visit the Public Health Environmental Health webpage at: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/index.htm.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: LAPublicHealth.