Water once again flowed into the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs Tuesday after having sat dry and empty since 2015.
A ceremony marking the return of water to the reservoirs was held, where the open valve released the first water running into the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex, starting at the smaller Ivanhoe Reservoir. Water will then start filling into the Silver Lake Reservoir in approximately two weeks.
The return of water is possible because of the abundant rain and snow that California received this past winter. The refilling process is expected to take two month and use water from the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The original plan was for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to begin refilling the reservoir in May using local resources over 12 months.
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Silver Lake Reservoir is a popular destination for walkers, joggers and sightseers. LADWP emptied the reservoir in late 2015, turning what was a picturesque blue expanse of water into a brown hole.
The reservoir was drained to construct the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex Bypass Project so the department could comply with updated state and federal regulations requiring the LADWP to cover, bypass, or treat water stored in its open reservoirs. The bypass diverts drinking water away from the Silver Lake and Ivanahoe Reservoirs to the Headworks Reservoir, which is a new covered water storage facility.
The LADWP said that once it is filled, the reservoir will be kept at historic levels ranging between 440 and 450 feet above sea level.