To maximize stormwater capture and infiltration and meet water quality objectives from the Los Angeles River Upper Reach 2 Watershed Management Program and the MS4 permit, the city of Bell Gardens is creating the John Anson Ford Park Infiltration Cistern Project.
The project is set to reduce pollutant loads to downstream water bodies by cap- turing wet and dry weather runoff, which will then be conveyed into the subsurface cistern and increase water supply through groundwater recharge. The region faces water quality challenges, but drought conditions have depleted groundwater resources, so increasing the water supply is a key component. To achieve the goals of this project, the team has separated it into phases. To accommodate the full capture volume, the first phase included a deep excavation, approximately 40 feet deep to accommodate a storage system height close to 20 feet, with stacked infiltration modules.
The system needed an assortment of controls. To do so, the system has a knife gate valve on the diversion pipe that conveys captured runoff from the existing storm drain system to the subsurface infil- tration gallery. The valve is controlled on a level sensor located within the subsurface system so, when the system is almost full, the valve closes to prevent the diversion of more runoff. Project construction was expected to be complete in October 2023, and job walks were completed earlier that month. The project is set to start capturing and divert- ing runoff in the coming months.
“This project is important because it improves water quality and increases water supply, both of which enhance the environ- ment now and in the future,” Katie Harrel, special projects manager for CWE, said.