Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and we celebrated the groundbreaking work of our flood control pioneers with special events and a commemorative documentary with rare footage. Visit our website—dpw.lacounty.gov—to watch.
In 2015, we invested heavily in water conservation as California entered its fifth year of drought and Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to reduce potable urban water use across the state by 25%. County Waterworks Districts enacted mandatory water restrictions and partnered with California’s Save Our Water Campaign to inspire consumers to make permanent reductions in daily use. Overall, County Waterworks District customers achieved the mandatory reduction goals for 2015 by conserving more than 69 million gallons of water.
Public Works was also busy preparing County infrastructure and our communities for the upcoming El Niño storm season. Working with our County emergency management and safety personnel, we launched a County El Niño Preparedness website and a public safety outreach program, including more than 70 town hall meetings. In total, over 4,000 miles of County roadway drains, 417 miles of concrete channels, 82,000 catch basins and 3,300 miles of underground storm drains were inspected and cleaned to reduce flood risk. In addition, 172 debris basins and 27 spreading grounds were cleared to ready the County to capture the anticipated rainfall and replenish local aquifers.
In the area of waste management, we continued to work toward a healthy, waste-free future. We collaborated with our regional waste haulers and the 88 cities across the County to develop a Mass Debris Removal Plan to prepare for El Niño and major disasters. The Plan provides policy and guidance for prompt removal and disposal of disaster related debris in the event of an area-wide event.
We also supported the County’s Homeless Initiative by delivering the $30 million Downtown Mental Health Center Project to combat homelessness and enhance the quality and capacity of mental health services. In addition, we delivered the $3.7 million MLK Recuperative Care Center that will provide extended health care and access to housing for 900 to 1,400 homeless patients per year. In total, we delivered 20 new county buildings valued at over $67 million and broke ground on the new $472 million Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center, the largest rehabilitation hospital in the Western U.S.
Meanwhile, we continued to improve the quality of life in our communities by addressing 3,100 code enforcements complaints and, as public safety first responders, handled more than 50,000 service calls.
These represent just a few of our many accomplishments in 2015. To learn more about our work visit dpw.lacounty.gov. You can also follow us on twitter @LAPublicWorks.
For 100 years we’ve been protecting and enriching lives, and the men and women of Public Works are always ready to serve!