Los Angeles Benefits From Trash Capture System

Aug. 20, 2014

In 2004, the city of Los Angeles (L.A.), CA, approved Proposition O, a $500 million bond to improve the water quality of water bodies within the city. A linchpin to that goal is a two-phase ecosystem restoration and multiuse project that will significantly enhance the water quality and recreational use of the 40-acre Machado Lake and the Wilmington Drain, the half-mile storm drain that feeds into it.

The Machado Lake and Wilmington Drain are located in Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park in the South Bay, an important recreational and natural area resource for L.A. residents who use it for hiking, fishing, bird watching, boating, and canoeing. As a result of trash pollution, both water bodies were identified as impaired for bacteria, ammonia, copper, and lead–all of which are threats to public health. The drain is also an important flood control channel and protects coastal wetlands ecosystems and native wildlife.

In 2005, Cedar Grove, NJ-based Fresh Creek Technologies Inc. embarked on the design and installation of trash trap technology to help the City of L.A. meet the myriad cleanup goals set forth in the city’s vast $117 million ecosystem restoration and multiuse project. Those goals included requirements by L.A. County’s Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering, the Sanitation Department, as well as a total maximum daily load goal of a trash-free lake by 2016.

Fresh Creek’s Netting Trash Trap system, which was designed for the unparalleled trash-reduction task, represents the world’s largest stormwater trash capture system. Consisting of a 22-net system that is certified as a full-capture device by the Regional Water Quality Board-LA Region, the system features a 750-cubic foot per second (cfs) design flow and a peak flow of 5,700 cfs, thereby meeting L.A. County’s requirement to convey a 50-year storm event when it occurs. Its high design flow capability and very low head loss also ensure no flooding of any upstream water service elevations. Moreover, maintenance of the system can be handled by the city, keeping costs down.

Look for an article in the November/December 2014 issue of Stormwater with details of the Machado Lake restoration project.

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