issue : 052003

Is it possible to marry the two extreme urban conditions where you can have a space of tranquility and escape from the hectic urban life, but also clean and reclaim water from sewage simultaneously?

Sure it is.

This urban anomaly can be found in the heart of the San Fernando Valley (northwest corner of Los Angeles County) where several creeks used to join to form devastating floods in the past, or more currently, near 101 and 405 freeway interchange where it is considered one of the busiest freeway junctions in the United States.

A large water reclamation plant called, Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant (named after the Chief Deputy City Engineer who designed the facility in the early 1970's) is situated unsuspectingly hidden next to the 6.5 acres of a Japanese Garden designed by a renowned landscape architect, Dr. Koichi Kawana. You'd never guess that there is a facility where 130 million gallons of water (95% of water is reclaimed from the daily sewage) being reclaimed everyday next to an urban oasis (can't even smell it!).

It is difficult to envision such a facility, let alone find such an unique open space in the middle of the urban wasteland. We should thank the two visionaries who were determined to build the most beautiful sewage processing plant in the world. Perhaps there is hope for Los Angeles...

:: REF ::
Walk through the garden, there are 9 hidden panoramic photographs. Enjoy and explore!

Detail Photos
Japanese Garden

Bureau of Sanitation
Japanese Detail
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Preserve
Big Wast of Space Photologue

*plenty of parking spaces, open daily with docent led tours or self strolling for a nominal entry fee (donation), except Fridays and rainy days