Two new reservoirs on tap for Burbank

Burbank is moving ahead with a $13-million project to build two new reservoirs at the base of the Verdugo Mountains that will expand Burbank’s water storage capacity by 2.6 million gallons.

The Burbank Water and Power project is needed to replace a 1928-era reservoir that doesn’t meet current design standards and state public health criteria. It was emptied to allow contract bidders to review the structure.

Need for significant maintenance of the reservoir, repair of the roof structure and leaks in the floor were found during routine inspection, according to a report to the City Council.

After a study of repair and replacement options, officials determined repairing the existing reservoir would not provide the “structure desired.”


Instead, the City Council on Tuesday approved the construction contract with J.F. Shea Construction to demolish the existing 6.9-million gallon reservoir and build two new facilities that would store 9.5 million gallons at a cost of nearly $10.3 million, according to the report.

The City Council also approved $1.4 million for community outreach, construction management and design support, bringing the total budget to $13.4 million.

Mayor Jess Talamantes said the project will strengthen Burbank’s future water supply.

“It puts Burbank in a more favorable position when it comes to water,” Talamantes said.


The construction bid is higher than utility officials initially anticipated, Michael Thompson, principal civil engineer, told the council, but he added that it was still a good value.

Based on comparisons to the cost of work on a reservoir in Glendale and a project in Castaic Lake in 2007 and 2005, respectively, the cost per gallon to Burbank will be less, Thompson said. Burbank’s project comes in at $1.08 per gallon, while the cost to Glendale and Castaic Lake was $1.14 per gallon, according to BWP.

The project is being funded by the sale of water revenue bonds.

Officials had considered building just one new reservoir, but a design consultant improved the configuration to allow two new reservoirs to combine for increased capacity at the site.

“We want to optimize the amount of water that we can store on the site, and this is the best way to do it,” Thompson said.

Construction on the reservoirs, to be located just north of Sunset Canyon Drive and Magnolia Boulevard, could begin as early as next month, and is expected to take 18 months to complete.