What is IRP?
The Federal Clean Water Act requires publicly owned sewage treatment works to prepare and periodically update wastewater facilities plan. The City of Los Angeles prepared its first wastewater facilities plan in 1982 and updated it in 1991. Past wastewater facilities planning focused primarily on developing cost effective construction and operational alternative to meet future wastewater needs. It did not always adequately consider the advance impacts on communities and the surrounding environment. As a result, capital improvements projects were often met with criticism and / or protest by the impacted communities. Planning also did not consider the relationship between the wastewater, water and storm water service function, and the potential for mutually beneficial approaches in the context of watershed planning. Recognizing the water, wastewater and storm water interrelationship and recognizing
The City of Los Angeles’ future depends on its ability to provide critical services, staged to keep pace with evolving population, regulations, economic drivers and environmental needs. The IRP provides a roadmap to meet these challenges. It sets forth the best mix of facilities, upgrades, programs and strategies to serve LA’s wastewater and water resource needs, at the same time reflecting the values, ideas and input of hundreds of stakeholders and technical contributors.
The City of Los Angeles applied a contemporary approach to develop this IRP by incorporating wastewater, stormwater and runoff, and recycled water management into a single strategy. This reflects the reality that all water services are interdependent and recognizes the complex, intertwined relationships of the City’s varied water resource departments and functions. Los Angeles Department of Public Works and Department of Water and Power partnered in developing the IRP, a departure from prior single-purpose plans.
More than ever before, this IRP process enlisted stakeholders to take an active part in the planning and design development process, resulting in hundreds of individuals and organizations voicing their ideas and providing input. Los Angeles had never before undertaken such a comprehensive public outreach and involvement effort for its water, wastewater and runoff management planning. Open dialogue, City leaders believed, was crucial not only to gain public understanding of the IRP approach, but also to capture the best collective ideas, experiences and opinions of LA’s diverse residents and customers.
The Bureau of Sanitation of the Department of Public Works and the Department of Water and Power led the IRP planning process and were the face and voice of the program. Other City departments and offices were deeply involved in varied ways, primarily the Management Advisory and Technical Advisory Committees (MAC and TAC). Some elements of the IRP facilities planning process required extensive involvement from several divisions and groups of the Bureau of Engineering, including preliminary and conceptual design of treatment facilities as well as environmental documentation. Additional City departments provided technical information and policy guidance, among them all Los Angeles City Council offices, Planning, Environmental Affairs, Neighborhood Empowerment, Building and Safety, Recreation and Parks, the City Attorney’s Office and the Ad hoc Committee on the Los Angeles River.
Assistance was sought from a team of technical and program management specialists from the consulting firms of CH2M Hill (CH) and Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. (CDM). This joint venture of CH:CDM supported City staff by helping guide the process, keeping it on track, and providing specialized technical expertise.
The City’s various offices have been working collaboratively together in coordinating and implementing the various IRP recommendations, keeping IRP stakeholders engaged though stakeholder meetings and obtained valuable input from stakeholders on IRP related issues.
Integrated Nature of the City’s Water Resources
“Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.” - FDR