Published December 14th, 2016
Lafayette's Leland Reservoir Project is in the Pipeline
By Pippa Fisher
Photo Pippa Fisher
It is a long way off but the East Bay Municipal Utility District plans to reconstruct Lafayette's Leland Reservoir.
John Coleman, EBMUD director and Jeni McGregor, EBMUD senior engineer, updated the Lafayette City Council on the Leland Reservoir Project at the Nov. 28 council meeting.
Following an environmental impact report next year, the $30 million project will go to design from 2020-2022, with construction planned for 2022-2024.
Coleman made the initial observation that the Leland Reservoir is at its breaking point. Smaller capacity tanks are needed to replace the current 18-million-gallon, 60-year-old storage infrastructure at 1040 Leland Drive.
McGregor said that at present the 36-inch diameter critical transmission pipeline runs from the Lafayette Water Treatment Plant to the Leland Reservoir via Old Tunnel Road and then to the EBMUD property by way of a narrow 15-foot, unpaved and hard-to-maintain right of way. Since Old Tunnel Road is at a higher elevation than the reservoir the pipes are currently very deep and hard to access.
The project would start with construction of 2,700 feet of 36-inch main pipeline through Condit Road and Windsor Drive. Once that is in place the old main line between Old Tunnel Road and Leland Drive would be abandoned and the existing reservoir would be demolished to make way for two eight-million-gallon tanks in its place.
McGregor pointed out that the roof is unsafe and the structure does not meet seismic requirements. Aging pipes need to be replaced and laid in a more accessible location.
She went on to describe the planned planting of native, drought-resistant grasses, wildflowers and trees. She said that as a result of three separate meetings, one with city staff in June and two others with residents and neighbors in August and September, concerns about tree removal and replacements were being addressed. Changes to the project's plans for staging and storage for materials and vehicles resulted in another 30 trees saved and more replanted. Further saving of trees will be address in the E.I.R.
Other concerns that came out of those meetings included impacts on traffic, parking, pedestrian safety, truck routes and sewer laterals.
Vice Mayor Mike Anderson asked how long the disruption would continue on local streets and McGregor estimated about six months. However, both McGregor and Coleman recognized the impact to the public.
Council member Don Tatzin encouraged saving even more trees and stressed the need to make the public aware of the potential disruptions of this project ahead of the start.
"Communication is critical," said Mayor Mark Mitchell.

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