By Mary O’KEEFE
Anyone who has tried to find parking or traveled near La Crescenta and Honolulu avenues lately knows that Crescenta Valley Water District has been busy with construction in the area. Streets and lanes have been closed, parking was been disrupted and workers were seemingly everywhere as work was done on the former site of the Rockhaven Sanitarium.
But CVWD has completed the first phase of the construction of the Rockhaven well.
“We have completed the pipeline [that will take the water] from the well site to our operation facility on Glenwood [Avenue],” said David Gould, CVWD district engineer. “Now we will [begin construction] on the pump and the building.”
The construction began in August when crews laid the pipeline that will take the water from a well in the lot just west of Rockhaven Sanitarium in the 2700 block of Honolulu Avenue. The well will provide local water, which reduces the amount of water CVWD imports from the Metropolitan Water District.
“When we import less water it helps us during our drought,” Gould said. “It will provide water to residents within the CVWD [area].”
There have been concerns raised about the well water’s chemical make-up.
“We have tested the water and the results show [it to have] a high nitrate level,” Gould said. He added that a high nitrate level is nothing unusual for the Crescenta Valley area due to the old septic system. The water would be dangerous to consume straight from the well; however, CVWD treats the water, reducing the nitrates to a safe level.
Because Rockhaven was a sanitarium that provided some medical care another concern raised was of medical waste. But Gould said medical contamination is found in the top ten feet of soil whereas the well is at 185 feet.
“It doesn’t affect us,” Gould said.
CVWD does test for all contaminates according to the Dept. of Public Health guidelines.
“There is [always] a potential for [contamination], but we found no evidence of medical waste [in the ground] or in the water, ” Gould said.
The construction is expected to be completed in November of this year. The completed pipeline will take the water from the Rockhaven well under Hermosa Avenue, down La Crescenta Avenue to Sycamore Avenue and connect to the nitrate removal facility.
The construction is being financed under the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Food Control, River and Costal Protection Bond Act of 2006, Prop. 84.