Los Amigos Park, a Friend to the Environment
The Los Amigos Park Stormwater Harvesting and Direct Use Demonstration Project truly is a friend to the environment. This project is a collaborative effort between the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. This project involves capturing urban runoff from a storm drain near the park, pretreating flows with a hydrodynamic separator, storing flows in a subsurface storage system, and treating the water with ultraviolet (UV) light before it is used for irrigating and flushing toilets within the park. The park is shared by two elementary schools during the day and by the City and various youth sports leagues at night and on weekends. Rather than discharging polluted waters into the Santa Monica Bay, this project reduces pollutant loads, offsets potable water use, and uses urban runoff as a resource. This project also aligns with the goals set forth in the Santa Monica Bay Jurisdictional Group 2 and 3 (J2&3) Enhanced Watershed Management Program (EWMP) Plan and the City’s goal of becoming more sustainable. Construction for this project is set to begin in July 2016 and costs just under $2 million. This project will store approximately 53,000 gallons of urban runoff and offset up to 550,000 gallons of potable water each year. The City is paving the way towards the future, as stormwater and urban runoff become a resource rather than a waste, which is exactly the theme of the 2016 CASQA Conference (Stormwater Evolution: Source to Resource). There are many great lessons to be learned from this project by leaders in the stormwater industry. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has set guidelines for stormwater capture and use projects that have the potential for human contact, such as with spray irrigation and toilet flushing. The captured runoff must be treated based on the standards outlined in National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) 350 or California Code of Regulations Title 22, which is why the project utilizes UV treatment. There are also valuable lessons to be learned regarding the coordination required in utilizing a school site for a water quality improvement project and the requirements set forth by the Division of the State Architect (DSA). Along with those requirements come great benefits, as the treatment process and purpose of the project will be integrated into the curriculum at John Muir Elementary School, educating and inspiring students and parents, as well as park goers and members of the Pony League and American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) soccer league who utilize the sports fields within the park which will be irrigated with treated urban runoff. One challenge that may detour others from implementing these types of projects is the operation and maintenance. The lessons learned regarding the future operation and maintenance of this project, along with the anticipated costs, will be valuable to leaders in the stormwater industry. The topics outlined above will be discussed in greater detail at the CASQA conference. The goal of this presentation is to educate and inspire the audience so that there is a greater comfort level in moving forward with projects such as this, which use urban runoff as a resource. This presentation will inspire the audience to identify places within their community to implement this model project, which provides multiple benefits. This presentation will be interactive and include tables, pictures, and easy to follow graphics to engage and educate the audience.
Primary Speaker Biography: Mr. Vik Bapna is a registered Civil Engineer and CPSWQ and is a co-founder of CWE. He has 25 years of diverse experience in the planning, design, and construction of urban infrastructure improvements related to improving water quality and reducing pollutants of concern in urban and stormwater runoff. He has served as the project manager and engineer for more than $150 million worth of civil and environmental engineering projects. His project experience includes developing multiuse water quality enhancement projects, and designing innovative structural treatment control BMPs. He previously worked for the County of Los Angeles and was the County’s first Watershed Manager.