Palos Verdes Reservoir Article Series - Raven

The Palos Verdes Reservoir has been part of Los Angeles County’s extensive water service network since the late 1930s. The avocado-shaped facility, with a depth of 75 feet, provides 360 million gallons of water storage. To keep it operating efficiently and to extend its service life greatly, a plan was approved to make significant changes and upgrades.
In 2016, Geosynthetics Magazine invited Raven CLI Construction’s John Heap to document the project in a series of stories that would cover the design, fabrication, and installation of the geocomposite and geomembrane lining system along with the custom floating cover system. Raven CLI Construction had the contract to perform the work.
Palos Verdes Reservoir Article Series - Raven
Geosynthetica’s Editor-in-Chief has been part of the series writing too. To date, three parts have been published and a final one is forthcoming in Geosynthetics.
Raven has shared PDF copies of the three articles to date on its website.


Part 1 of the article series, which was published in the October/November 2016 issue of Geosynthetics, describes the site parameters, design concerns, and how geosynthetic manufacturing and fabrication planning are utilized to keep the project moving towards its objectives. In Part 2 (April/May 2018), the series documents the full fabrication stage, site staging of materials, and installation planning for a more rapid execution in the wake of a site subgrade preparation delay. Part 3 checks in with the facility as re-commissioning operations approach.
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Part 4 (in development) will detail the final testing and filling of the reservoir, providing a full outline and view of the re-construction of the site.
Select geosynthetic details:

  • CSPE geomembranes from Burke Industries were specified for the Palos Verdes Reservoir. CSPE is the preferred geomembrane type for dual liner and floating cover systems in California. The polymeric formulation provides long-term performance record in exposed applications. The Palos Verdes Reservoir, in fact, had utilized a CSPE cover since 1988. That cover was removed for replacement as these new site works were initiated.
  • 60-mil (1.5-mm) liner and 45-mil (1.1-mm) floating cover panels were used
  • The floating cover design is a tensioned cover system that features weights and floats. These elements create troughs on the floating cover to funnel rainwater from its surface. The cover terminates in the mechanical batten attachment, which is also where the base liner terminates. The design essentially creates an in-ground sealed storage system. Epoxy-set anchors ensure security at the battens.
  • The utilization of high-quality, prefabricated geomembrane panels—custom fabricated to the site’s layout—eliminated approximately 80% of seam work needed to be completed on site. This significantly reduced labor, testing, weather exposure, and on-site work days.

Palos Verdes Reservoir Article Series - Raven
Learn more about the project by reading parts 1, 2, and 3 of “Reviving the Palos Verdes Reservoir” by John Heap and Chris Kelsey. And, look for Part 4 coming son in Geosynthetics magazine.


Raven Engineered Films is an experienced manufacturer of advanced multi-layer geomembranes for effective containment of liquids, solids, odors and hazardous gasses. The Raven product line includes a wide-range of geomembranes including RPE, RPP, PVC, EPDM, CSPE, HDPE, LLDPE, fPP, along with all the supportive geosynthetic materials to complete seamless installations.