Industrial Art at the Diemer Water Treatment Plant,
photo by former Metropolitan photographer Larry LaCom
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
July 22, 2019
What About Those
Burros at Gene Camp?
As you approach Metropolitan’s Gene Camp - just a few miles west of the mighty Colorado River - you'll see an unusual road sign: Warning. Wild Burros on Highway. Do Not Feed or Harass.

And it’s true, there are many burros in the area. The best guess is that early miners or missionaries brought them to the area to carry gear or help transport heavy items. With their innate ability to survive under the harshest conditions, herds formed and flourished.

Some find their way onto roads, or even into Gene Camp where they can be seen by staff and guests. (Guests are warned that burros can defend themselves with powerful kicks from their front and hind legs).

Others stay hidden, but there are plenty of ‘signs’ they are in the area. Other indicators are not so obvious to the casual observer. But locals will point out, for example, that many of the cacti are worn at the base due to burros rubbing up against the plants to remove parasites and get clean.

Because the burros are not native, there can be conflicts with other animals and plants that are indigenous to the area. That’s an ongoing challenge for environmental and land managers.

If you find yourself near the start of the Colorado River Aqueduct, you may just have a chance to see one of these unique residents of the Southwest.
Global Descriptive Sensory Panelist
Mastering the science of water tasting is one of the unique skill sets developed by Metropolitan's Water Quality Section. Unpleasant tastes and odors can affect consumer confidence and how people perceive the quality of their drinking water.

In the 1980s, Metropolitan became the first water agency in the world to address these concerns by establishing the in-house Flavor Profile Analysis (FPA) program.
FPA is a sensory technique that uses people as instruments to identify and measure tastes and odors.

Sensory expert Roy Desrochers, who works with many top food and beverage companies to deconstruct and recommend improvements to flavors, has been training Metropolitan water tasters for over 35 years. This spring, he returned to teach the newest generation of panelists.

The group underwent months of extensive training. After passing an intense final exam, the new panelists received their official certifications and became part of a global database of certified tasters.

They will join the weekly FPA panel and help evaluate water from Met's five treatment plants and representative distribution sites to ensure the best tasting water is delivered to our member agencies.

Congratulations to the newest class of taste experts. A list of this year's graduates can be found here .
A Family Tradition: Metropolitan Pride
Mills Water Treatment Operator Ryan Jordan’s history with Metropolitan goes back two generations, and he couldn’t be more proud.

His late grandfather Thomas Jordan was hired by Metropolitan in 1958, working for 35 years until his retirement in 1993 as an O&M supervisor at Weymouth. Ryan’s uncle – Trevor Jordan – retired in December 2018 as a field inspection manager for the eastern unit, having worked for the district for 34 years. And Ryan’s father Devin Jordan is a 29-year Metropolitan employee who is the O&M mechanical team manager at Weymouth.

After two years with the district, Ryan is carrying on the family legacy. “My father opened my eyes to how important this job is and how it affects so many people, and the responsibility that comes with that,” Ryan said. “He always says – every time we walk into that plant, 19 million people are relying on you to do your job. We take a lot of pride in that.”

Ryan fondly remembers attending Metropolitan’s family picnics as a kid and visiting Weymouth with his father, who taught him about the plant’s history and the importance of water.

It was enough to set Ryan down a path to pursue a career in the water industry, with his sights set on Metropolitan. After spending seven years working in water distribution for various municipalities, he landed his current role at Mills.
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
NEXT LIST: AUGUST 5, 2019   
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