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On Call Technical Assistance

Bending the River Back into the City: The Los Angeles Water Wheel Project

On Call Technical Assistance 400

This project involves the diversion of water from the Los Angeles River and using water energy to turn a 72 foot diameter water wheel, reminiscent of historic water wheels in the Los Angeles River area. The water wheel would also lift a portion of the diverted water and convey it to water treatment and storage works, prior to distribution as non-potable irrigation water for local parks.



Water wheel 1 The project site located at two parcels 1745 N. Spring Street and 1796 N. Baker Street approximately 0.4 mile west of the Golden State Freeway and 0.8 miles east of Dodger Stadium. The water wheel will be adjacent to LA Historic State Park, LA River and MTA tracks; it’s also 2 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.



Water wheel 2 The Los Angeles Water Wheel will support water conservation by providing irrigation water for LA State Park and contribute to LA River. The water wheel elements will be temporary dam in the LA River, tunnels to convey water to and from the wheel, wheel pit and Water Wheel structure water treatment and distribution. This site was a former standard oil facility used for storage of petroleum products from 1888-1960. Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments identified the presence of surface lead soil contamination and deeper petroleum hydrocarbon soil contamination. City’s Brownfields Program is providing environmental oversight to streamline the project development.