Public Works Wins Honors – Mesmer Low Flow Water Project

Culver City has been honored with American Public Works Association’s ‘BEST’ award for the Mesmer Low Flow Diversion Project. This initiative improves water quality by capturing dry-weather runoff from Centinela Creek and redirects it to Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant for reuse as recycled water.

Capturing and recycling runoff has long been seen as the key to solving the water use/drought issue in Southern California. Going back to the 1980’s, environmental designers have looked for ways to put this into public infrastructure. 

Most of the dry-weather run-off originates from overwatered lawns, leaky mains or industrial flows. The Mesmer project will collect this water and   during pump into an existing sewer main to the City of Los Angeles’ Hyperion Reclamation Plant for treatment. Project will help the City meet its water quality compliance goals.

The Mesmer low flow diversion system can divert up to 1 Gallon Per Minute of dry weather run-off from Centinela Creek into the Mesmer Pump Station. Dry weather run-off will be pumped into an existing sewer main and be taken to City of Los Angeles’ Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant for treatment and recycling.

The Centinela Creek is a tributary to Ballona Creek draining approximately 9.83 square mile area (6,288 acres) of Culver City, Inglewood, Los Angeles, and the County of Los Angeles unincorporated areas.

During wet weather and conditions with higher-than-normal flows in Centinela Creek, the proposed sluice gate will be closed for diversion allowing these higher flows to continue down the channel to Ballona Creek. The existing Pump Station and force main provides more than adequate capacity to convey the low flow from the channel. 

The City’s deadline to address dry weather bacteria and metals exceedances in storm drains was January 2016, and was extended by approval of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board through a Time Schedule Order (TSO).  The Mesmer Project is one of three projects approved in the TSO to comply with the Ballona Creek Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for dry weather bacteria flows.

The following three regional projects collectively comply with the final water quality based effluent limitations during dry weather as specified by the Ballona Creek bacterial TMDL:

  1. Low Flow Treatment Facility (LFTF) #1 Project at Ballona Creek
  2. Low Flow Treatment Facility (LFTF) #2 Project at Sepulveda Channel
  3. Mesmer Low Flow Diversion Project at Centinela Creek

Culver City is taking the lead in managing both design and construction of the Mesmer Project, while the City of Los Angeles is managing the LFTF #1 and LFTF #2 Projects.

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