Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lake Pasadena to Return - Devil's Gate Dam Will Replenish the Aquifer in the Hahamongna Basin as Originally Intended

Lake Pasadena and the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel from Linda Vista Peak, by Orrin A. White, Courtesy of the Armitrading FoundationLake Pasadena to Return - Devil's Gate Dam Will Replenish the Aquifer in the Hahamongna Basin as Originally Intended!
I'm looking at the Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan on the City's Website:http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/publicworks/PNR/ArroyoSeco/pdfFiles/Hahamongna%20Watershed%20Park%20Master%20Plan/Hahamongna%20FULL%20DOC.pdfand I see in 1978, "the Division of Safe Operation of Dams (DSOD) imposed an operational restriction on Devil's Gate Dam and officially declared the dam seismically unsafe. These actions were taken in part due to the 1971 Sylmar earthquake."and in Jan. 1996, "the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (LACDPW) began the seismic strengthening and spillway modification to Devil's Gate Dam. This project was completed in the winter of 1998."So it seems we need to ask our public officials to look into retaining more Arroyo Seco stream runoff to keep water behind the dam, which it is designed and rehabilitated to do, in order to increase the replenishment of the Raymond aquifer. I have contacted Brad Bowman, Engineering Manager at Pasadena Water and Power to ask for his help in looking into this matter.
Apparently our wish has been granted and we can get Lake Pasadena back for a major portion of the year and it can function as originally intended!
This from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works:

Devil's Gate Dam and Reservoir Post Fire Sediment Removal Project

The 2009 Station Fire was the 10th largest fire in California since 1933 and burned over 160,000 acres before containment. The fire burned nearly 100% of the undeveloped watershed tributary to Devil's Gate Dam and Reservoir, leaving vast areas of the San Gabriel Mountains denuded and sediment deposition inevitable. The 2009-2010 Storm Season brought in approximately 936,000 cubic yards of postfire debris and more is expected in the upcoming years. Los Angeles County Department of Public Works is planning a major sediment removal project for Devil's Gate Reservoir to remove the accumulated sediment and make room for future sedimentation that will undoubtedly occur. Construction is expected to begin as early as September 2011 and final details of this project are still under consideration.

The following presentation was presented to the City of Pasadena Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee on November 30,2010.

HWPAC Presentation

here For the PDF version of the presentation.

The above oil painting featuring Lake Pasadena, the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel and the San Gabriel Mountain peaks was painted by Orrin A. White, a local Arroyo painter who lived just below the hotel at 1205 Linda Vista Road in a Spanish Hacienda designed by noted local architect Garret Van Pelt. In an upcoming post I will feature a painting of White's home with the San Gabriels as a backdrop.

For more on the Myron Hunt designed Flintridge Biltmore, which still exists, please go to this link: http://www.fsha.org/podium/default.aspx?t=118031 It's a beautiful site to visit and also has a bridge similar to the Picture Bridge at the Huntington Hotel in the Oak Knoll District of Pasadena. There are many hiking and equestrian trails surrounding the Flintridge Biltmore, connecting it with the natural landscape in many directions. This is not to be missed and is as nice as any Santa Barbara or Ojai resort! Such outstanding vistas!

So the restoration of Lake Pasadena will help us solve our water woes in the area and make us less dependent on imported water supplies. This is a very good thing! I'm looking forward to the historic restored vista shown to us by Orrin White's painting of Lake Pasadena!

After the tremendous rainfall of the last week, the possibilities of recharging our local aquifer below Hahamongna look promising! Happy New Year to All!