(Photo via Flickr by Echo Park Now.)
Things are getting pretty gross over in Echo Park, as the lake is drained and the yucky stuff you always expected was at the bottom of the lake is unearthed. The L.A. Times' Bob Pool reports that the brownish/greenish sludge at the bottom, 5 feet deep in some spots, will be hauled to landfills. It's all a part of the lake's two-year, $64.7 million makeover.
The lake was emptied in two stages, with water lowered just enough in the first phase to allow biologists to capture fish and relocate them to MacArthur Park Lake, while about 95 turtles were turned over to the California Turtle and Tortoise Club and put up for adoption...Read it all here.
Originally constructed in 1868 for drinking water storage by the Los Angeles Canal and Reservoir Co., Echo Park Lake has more recently functioned as a storm drain detention basin as well as a park site and wildlife habitat.
Although the lake was drained in 1984, the Regional Water Quality Control Board labeled it "an impaired water body" in 2006. Algae, ammonia, copper, lead, PCBs, low oxygen levels and trash in the tepid water were killing off the lake's signature lotus plants.
At noon, a coyote could be seen loping across the empty lake bed, eyeing the ducks and searching for dead fish. George Magallanes, an aide to Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes, said the coyote killed two domestic geese over the weekend, apparently after slipping through a fence knocked down in a Saturday traffic accident on Echo Park Avenue.
Workers, meanwhile, began spreading lime on the lake bed to deodorize sediment fouled by decades of waterfowl droppings.