Leo Vander Lans

Leo Vander Lans

Leo J. Vander Lans, a Long Beach water conservation leader and philanthropist, died Sunday. He was 92.

Vander Lans died at home after being diagnosed with liver cancer, his wife, Judith, said.

In 2005, the city of Long Beach began operating the Leo J. Vander Lans Advanced Water Treatment Plant on the city’s east side.

It is a state-of-the-art water treatment facility, built to protect the Central Basin groundwater from seawater contamination and, ultimately, to protect and replenish drinking water for the region.

An attorney, Vander Lans began his career fighting for water resources when he served on the Long Beach Water Commission from 1987-1994. He was elected to the Water Replenishment District of Southern California in 1994 and was appointed to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board in 2005.

Vander Lans was also active in many civic organizations, including the Long Beach Public Library Foundation, the local chapter of the Red Cross and the St. Mary Medical Center Foundation.

Vander Lans was born March 18, 1925 in San Francisco and moved to Long Beach as a young boy.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, he graduated from the University of Pacific in 1947 and earned his law degree at the University of Southern California in 1945.

His first job was working as a deputy attorney general for Attorney General Pat Brown. He was a partner in the law firm of Graham and James.

A Memorial service is being planned. Details will be shared when they are available.

Load comments