In October 2010, Malibu, Calif., celebrated the opening of Legacy Park, a multi-purpose water resources facility and public park. Designed to remove bacteria, metals, nutrients and debris from stormwater runoff that affects water quality in Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean, the park also includes recreational space and natural habitat for wildlife. The project transformed 15 acres in the heart of the city into a central park capable of capturing up to 2.6 million gallons of stormwater per day for treatment and disinfection.

To reduce the risk of illness associated with recreation in water bodies located in the Malibu Creek Watershed, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Bacteria for the Malibu Creek Watershed in 2004. The TMDL set several water quality targets for bacterial indicators, including fecal coliform, total coliform, E. coli, and enterococcus.

Malibu began crafting several stormwater infrastructure projects, including Legacy Park, to meet those targets. In 2007, the city completed construction of the Civic Center Stormwater Treatment Facility, which processes up to 1,400 gallons per minute of stormwater runoff. Next, the city contracted with Walnut Creek, Calif.-based RMC Water and Environment as the primary contractor for Legacy Park. Several consultants and subcontractors also were hired to design and build the park, including the Los Angeles office of Atlanta-based Geosyntec for stormwater consulting and design.

Flows from 337 acres collected within three major storm drains are intercepted and conveyed to a pond in Legacy Park before it is pumped to the Civic Center Stormwater Treatment Facility. During heavy rain, the clean stormwater is discharged into Malibu Creek. Otherwise, the water is stored, treated and used for park irrigation. Legacy Park also includes an outdoor classroom, a cultural interpretive center, and numerous other features that provide information about plant and animal life in Southern California.

Hundreds of donors contributed to the $25 million purchase and the $10 million design, engineering and construction of the Malibu Legacy Park Project. Since the park opened, Malibu has complied with all of the Regional Water Quality Control Board's bacteria regulations.

Project: Malibu Legacy Park
Jurisdiction: Malibu, Calif.
Agency: Recreation Department
Contractors: Walnut Creek, Calif.-based RMC Water and Environment; Los Angeles office of Geosyntec Consultants; Mill Valley, Calif.-based Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey; Sacramento, Calif.-based ICF Jones & Stokes, and Dr. Richard Ambrose of UCLA