13 Facts About The Silver Lake Reservoir


The reservoir in the middle of Silver Lake functions as the neighborhood’s centerpiece. Houses look out onto it from the hills, people bike, run and walk their dogs around it, and residents drive past it almost every day. Yesterday I took my dog for a long walk around the reservoir and while doing so a few questions popped into my mind (what is it for? what’s with those black balls?) so I decided to make this list of Fun Facts About The Silver Lake Reservoir:

  1. The jogging path around the reservoir is approximately 2.2 miles.
  2. The upper section is actually named “Ivanhoe” after the 1819 Sir Walter Scott novel.
  3. The lower (bigger) section is named “Silver Lake” after Herman Silver, a member of Los Angeles’ first Board of Water Commissioners.
  4. It does not actually provide water for the Silver Lake neighborhood, but rather to South Los Angeles communities.
  5. Silver Lake residents get their water from Eagle Rock.
  6. The jogging path was the first step in turning the reservoir into recreational use only.
  7. Plans are in the works to expand the Dog Park by 75 feet.
  8. The reservoir was used to put out fires in Griffith Park in 2007.
  9. The reservoir was drained last year because of bromate.
  10. The “bird balls” in the Ivanhoe section are there to shade the water and prevent a chemical reaction triggered by sunlight that forms bromate.
  11. It takes 3 million bird balls to cover the Ivanhoe section.
  12. The Silver Lake section is not covered because it is not a major supplier of water to the area – the water from Silver Lake is only used during hot periods and peak flow hours.
  13. It takes 15-20 days to completely re-fill the 795 million gallon Silver Lake section.




(photos of the drained reservoir via Maryann)

For more info check out the Committee To Save Silver Lake’s Reservoirs

Do you know any more interesting facts about the reservoir? Please add them to the comments section!

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9 Responses to “13 Facts About The Silver Lake Reservoir”

  1. Where did you end up getting the 2.2 miles? Yesterday I emailed the “Ask Chris” column at LA magazine in hopes for an answer

  2. Sky Minor says:

    Love the origin of the area’s water bit!

  3. […] pictures of the bottom drained… Silver Lake Reservoir Facts And Information – Los Angeles, CA | Take Sunset __________________ […]

  4. Vidalia says:

    I checked it with both the Nike GPS app and my car’s odometer years ago. It is almost EXACTLY 2.2 miles.

    • Valerie says:

      Vidalia: Thank you for this information! I’m always curious about the exact mileage when I’m running. Also, if & when they open the new meadow section to joggers, you’ll have to measure that as well!

  5. […] For more facts and rad images of the drained reservoir check out TakeSunset.com. […]

  6. Ray Moore says:

    I’m a 3 Stooges fan. and now live near LA. i emailed a Stooges site asking where the outdoor scenes on a lake were taken for the movie WHOOPS I’M AN INDIAn. i was told at SILVER LAKE. if so i
    would love to go get photos of that spot Moe & Curly fished. Thank you, Ray.

    • Mike Minami says:

      Hi Ray Moore,

      Did you attend John Marshall and graduate in either 1970 or 1971?

      If so, I had a couple of classes with you..


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