During a drought it is crucial to find means to conserve water. The city of Los Angeles is being commended for doing just that in a unique and innovative way. The conservation initiative began with swimming pools. The task involved the use of leftover water that remained at McCambridge Pool and Recreation Center. With water to be reused after draining the pool, the city of Burbank decided to create a well-planned initiative as a resourceful tactic during the drought. The intention was not to let reusable water go to waste. The concrete swimming pools built back in the 1960’s has traditionally been drained and left empty at the end of each season in order to avoid the need to continue operating the pumps and adding chemicals when the pool is not in use; this also provides opportunities for painting and other care and maintenance.
That drainage previously entered the storm drain system and eventually flowed into the Los Angeles River and out into the Pacific Ocean, but thanks to a newly adopted practice this pool drainage has found new purpose throughout the city. A new machine assisted with a pumping capacity of 526 gallons per minute and a running time of approximately 1.9 hours to pump an estimated 70,000 gallons total. After the process of de-chlorination, a vacuum pump was placed in the pool along with a hose that attaches to sewer trucks that pump the from the pool into the trucks. Anything that the pumps were not able to capture was sent down the storm drain system. The recycled water was used for irrigating a ball field located next to the pool, cleaning sewer lines, controlling dust at the municipal landfill, and watering municipally owned city street trees. The expectation going forward will be that the recycled water will be used mainly for sewer cleaning and parkway watering.