Holiday Cheer at Jensen Treatment Plant
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
December 9, 2019
Congratulations to Peter Jones , winner of a pair of LA Clippers basketball tickets. The tickets are part of Metropolitan's water conservation outreach campaign that is supported by several local sports teams. Keep checking WaterTalk for more opportunities to win. 
Work at Garvey Reservoir to Fix Erosion, Drainage
Did you know Metropolitan has a reservoir that’s less than 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles? It’s Garvey Reservoir in nearby Monterey Park.

There’s been a lot of work in recent months to make stormwater drainage and erosion control improvements, install new perimeter fencing, drain piping, concrete channels, and concrete masonry walls - just in time for the winter storm season.

Garvey Reservoir was constructed in 1954 as a component of the Middle Feeder system. It is located on a hill and has tall earth-filled embankments along the sides.

Concurrent with reservoir construction in the 1950s, homes were constructed immediately adjacent to the west and south perimeters of the reservoir. Before homes were constructed, stormwater runoff flowed through natural drainage zones to natural drainage channels. 

But since then, private developers and property owners altered those drainage channels and constructed improvements to build homes and streets. Metropolitan has worked cooperatively with the city and its neighbors over the years to address the impacts of this development.

The city and Metropolitan entered into an agreement in 2016 to make temporary emergency improvements. According to project manager, Wing Poon , those improvements in several sections of the property have been replaced with permanent improvements to provide better drainage. Metropolitan staff provided design and technical support, contract administration, project management, and inspected the contractor's work.
Fire and Water: Volcanoes and Stormwater Capture
The issues surrounding stormwater capture may be intense at times, so it’s a good thing that Matt Hacker , senior resource specialist in WRM, has experience dealing with explosive matters. Literally. 
Before coming to Metropolitan nearly 16 years ago, he worked with the Bolivian Geological Survey on a chain of 13 volcanoes in southwestern Bolivia. As a geologist, Matt’s role was to investigate water issues and better understand ways in which water changes how often volcanoes erupt.
Last week, the setting was quite a bit calmer when Matt joined other state and local experts on stormwater for a panel discussion at the Association of California Water Agencies conference in San Diego. The panel was moderated by Metropolitan Board Member Steve Blois.
“When you consider that about one-third of our overall supply is groundwater, stormwater and recharge play a big part in supporting those supplies,” Matt told attendees. 
Metropolitan and its member agencies have been actively involved in stormwater projects, but Matt noted that new pilot programs hold a lot of promise to collect data and other information for future projects. Metropolitan's pilot program will fund up to 25 projects in our service area (up to 10 for groundwater recharge and up to 15 for direct use) and look at the water supply yield.
“More and more, stormwater projects are being made possible thanks to our funding, technical and program support, strong partnerships and the leadership roles we have in regional water and integrated resource management organizations,” says Matt .
A Singular Perspective on Control Systems and Life
Despite working an entire career on highly technical, complex control systems, and equipment, Jessie Smiley has a simple life philosophy, “just keep going, and be respectful and civil with everyone. Help people along the way, and give back.”

That uncomplicated philosophy has carried Jessie for 29 years, working as the only woman at the Jensen Treatment Plant as an instrumentation and control technician (now a level III).

Jessie answered a Daily News ad and joined Metropolitan in 1991. She worked at Jensen in its 'original' state, before treatment processes changed and ozone facilities were added. “I was able to grow with the plant,” she said. This meant a career spanning conventional water treatment through an ozone retrofit, all the while performing installation and maintenance on digital and analog control systems and instruments.

Jessie marvels at the technology advances she's seen - from 1960s transistor-based circuitry to the digital components and computer boards of today. Her duties have included monitoring flow meters and chemical feed systems as well as treatment attributes such as chlorine and turbidity. 

Following in her footsteps is her daughter, currently a college student focused on environmental studies. Being able to work less than 10 minutes from home helped Jessie balance her work and personal life, she says.

December 19 is her last day. A possible return to school, travel and home improvements are on the horizon as well as helping her husband with his documentary videos. “I’m glad to be healthy and able to walk out," she says. 
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
Suggestion Box
Do you like this newsletter? Do you have any ideas for an employee profile? A great photo?
Email your thoughts and ideas to Jannine Rojo.
Stay Connected