By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Community Council hosted Los Angeles Department of Water and Power representatives at its most recent meeting, which took place via Zoom on Thursday, March 11.
A number of experts and guests joined Community Affairs Liaison Deborah Hong to address the nearly 50 board and community members in attendance, discussing low water pressure concerns in Upper Chautauqua.
LADWP Civil Engineering Associate Edgar Mercado explained that water travels from the Santa Ynez Reservoir to the community by gravity flow, without the assistance of pumps—meaning homes closer to the top of the reservoir experience lower water pressure and as the water travels down, the pressure increases.
LADWP investigated the low-pressure concerns and determined that there were no leaks, no water outages in the area and all fire hydrants had water. LADWP Waterworks Engineer Linh Phan said there were plans to adjust the Reservoir on December 7; however, that wasn’t done until December 10 and that is why community members experienced lower water pressure than normal on the following day.
She said there have not been similar instances since, and LADWP does not anticipate this happening again.
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Joseph Everett also joined the meeting and addressed the issue in regards to fire protection of the area.
He reassured the community of LAFD’s vigilance in protecting the area against wildfires, sharing that LAFD Station 69 has some of the most highly trained, senior firefighters in the department.
He also reported in the case of an emergency, the maximum distance between fire hydrants in the Palisades is 600 feet. In the instance of an emergency and an inoperable fire hydrant, they have the ability to reach for the next one.
Additionally each fire engine, without hooking up to a fire hydrant, carries 500 gallons of water.
“We make sure that the Palisades, Brentwood and Bel Air are well prepared, well in advance of a fire,” he said. “I live a couple canyons over, so I really do share the same anxieties that one of us may have as it relates to potential fires … I truly have the best interest in doing the best job we can to combat these fires.”
Everett also shared details in response to the water pressure issue, which included firefighters investigating hydrants from the top of Chautauqua all the way down to Sunset Boulevard, to make sure water pressure levels were right.
“I’m glad that this potential issue was brought to our attention and allowed us to go out and be certain that we’ll be able to combat anything that comes our way,” Everett concluded.
LADWP also provided an update about the power pole replacement project in upper Temescal Gateway Park in relation to mitigating the loss of protected Milkvetch plants in the area.
A Coastal Development Permit for the project has been issued, according to the LADWP representative, which allows the agency to resume work on the pole replacements while following a plan developed with the California Coastal Commission to “mitigate any loss of habitat from the original unpermitted construction,” according to information shared by PPCC.
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