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Echo Park Lake reopens after renovations, Angelinos rejoice

June 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Echo Park Lake, which has been off limits for the past two years due to contamination, re-opened to the public Saturday.

A ceremony was held at the lake located in the 1700 block of Park Avenue Saturday to mark the opening.

In 2006, the state of California identified Echo Park Lake as an impaired body of water due to bacteria and trash that washed into the reservoir. The pollution began to choke the lake's lotus plants which consequently stopped blooming and died.

The lake was originally built in the 1860s as a reservoir for drinking water and became an icon for people in the city of Los Angeles. Echo Park Lake provided people with a great place to jog and for other recreational activities.

Since its closure, the iconic lake has undergone a $45 million renovation to remedy its storm water pollution problem.

The 2-year renovation featured new lake edging, a clay liner to reduce water leaking through the lake botton, in-lake recirculation and aeration systems, wetland areas, water-wise landscaping, porous pavement walking paths, and a reconstructed lotus bed.

Every polluted drop of water that was part of Echo Park Lake has been drained and replaced. The body of water now meets California's water quality standards.

Irene Torado, who was raised in Echo Park, can't wait to enjoy the neighborhood lake.

"It is really one of the most exciting things to happen," said Torado. "I had other plans, but when I found out this was happening all those plans were canceled. I am here. I will be here and I have a nice group of people coming down to meet me. It should be a lot of fun. We're taking bets to see who ends up in the lake first."

The clean-up was financed using a portion of Proposition Q, the California water bond approved by voters back in 2004. The grand cost to pay for the rehabilitation was totaled at $45 million.


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