ELYSIAN PARK — The colorful pipes now being installed along the Avenue of the Palms in Elysian Park are a small part of a bigger project to irrigate the 575-acre park with recycled or reclaimed water. State laws mandate that reclaimed water pipes must be purple in color, though the ones now being installed in Elysian Park look to be more pink than purple. Regardless of the color, those pipes will one day be connected to an extensive recycled water system, which will include pumping stations and a 2-million-gallon storage tank that will rise near the top of Elysian Park, according to an initial environmental study commissioned by the L.A. Department of Water and Power. The goal of the Elysian Park Water Recycling Project is to reduce consumption of potable water for irrigation and industrial uses.
The recycled water that will one day help irrigate Elysian Park will be delivered via an approximately two-mile long, 16-inch wide pipe that will travel under the 5 Freeway and Elysian Valley and then over a bridge across the L.A. River. It will then connect to the DWP’s Purple Pipe Network , near the Rio De Los Angeles State Park, which is already irrigated by the purple pipes.
The purple pipes now being installed at the Avenue of the Palms will irrigate a grove of century-old Canary Date Palms, many of which are diseased and will be replaced by new trees. While recycled water won’t begin flowing for several years, a city official said Recreation and Parks wanted to prepare for the future delivery of recycled water by installing the purple pipes now. The initial environmental estimates that the Elysian Park Water Recycling Project won’t be completed until 2019 at the earliest.