County Funds South Bay Groundwater Monitoring Project

Supervisor Don Knabe announced a multimillion dollar effort to further protect groundwater aquifers in the South Bay through a new technology project. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works will soon begin a $2.6 million project to build an underground telecommunications conduit that will allow better monitoring and control of wells throughout the South Bay.

A total of 153 injection wells stretch from the Palos Verdes Peninsula, north to Los Angeles International Airport, as part of the West Coast Basin Barrier Project. By injecting into water into these wells, seawater from Santa Monica Bay is prevented from seeping into the critical freshwater aquifers underneath the Los Angeles Basin. Seawater intrusion is the movement of ocean water into fresh groundwater, causing contamination of the groundwater by salt.

By creating a unified communications system between the wells, engineers with the Department of Public Works can control the West Coast Basin Barrier remotely from a monitoring facility in Alhambra. This allows for more rapid changes in the injection system and better monitoring of the groundwater supply in the underground aquifers.

In this first phase of the project, the County will construct a 12-inch-wide underground conduit which the future telecommunication controls will eventually run through. Public Works expects the conduit construction, which will involve areas in the Cities of El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Torrance, to start in April 2009 and complete in October 2009. Access to adjacent properties will remain open during construction and traffic impacts will be minimal.