Superbloom preview, photo by Alex Marks
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
March 4, 2019
Wildflower Super Bloom at Diamond Valley Lake
It’s back. The hillsides of Diamond Valley Lake are beginning to burst with color for the much anticipated return of a wildflower "Super Bloom."

Following this wet winter, Met employees have been busy prepping for visitors flocking to the district’s 4,500 surface-acre lake in Riverside County, where the popular seasonal Wildflower Trail opened to the public last Saturday.

Visitors can see hillsides of California poppies, deep blue arroyo lupines, purple Canterbury bells, and white popcorn flowers, with peak blooms by mid-March and lasting through April.

“In 2017, we had a huge interest and thousands of people come to Diamond Valley Lake to see the wildflowers,” said Environmental Specialist Alexander Marks . “This year, we’ve been preparing early to get ready for the big crowds.”

The wildflower trail is part of the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve, created by Metropolitan in 1992. The trail, rated as an easy-to-moderate hike, is a 1.3-mile loop accessible from the marina’s parking lot, with entry off of Domenigoni and Searl Parkways in Hemet.

Trail hours this week are 6am-4:30pm and then 7am-5:30pm after March 10. The trails and marina are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Visitors should refrain from picking wildflowers and stay on the trail to protect the area’s wildlife -- and avoid rattlesnakes. More information is at .
A Vital Valley Water Workhorse Gets Upgraded
The Greg Avenue Pump Station was constructed by Calleguas MWD and began operating in the 1960s to pump treated water from the Weymouth Water Treatment Plant into Ventura County. Later, Met purchased the facility. With the completion of the Jensen Plant, State Water Project supplies routinely became the main source of supply for parts of Ventura County. 

Today, the pump station plays an important role in Metropolitan’s flexible distribution system. During shutdowns of the Jensen Plant or the Foothill Feeder, the pump station can send water from Weymouth to the west side of the system. In 2014 and 2015 when State Water Project allocations were low, the pump station was used on a near-continuous basis to supply the west side of Metropolitan’s system.

Now, this aging workhorse of a plant is getting more than $20 million in repairs and upgrades. A contract recently approved by the Board includes construction of a new control building and electrical substation and installation of two Metropolitan-furnished pumps, motors and accessories. Other work will install five new surge tanks, reconfiguration of the Burbank Service Connection B-5; and new plug valves, a new flow meter and controls.

Met staff will support the construction and manage the contract, which includes a Small Business Enterprise participation of at least 20 percent of the bid amount.  
This Family has a
History of Water Service
When you call the Incident Report line, you will likely reach Victoria Perez . She works in Metropolitan's Risk Management office, handling the Incident Reporting System and all property claims.

Victoria started working for Met in 1993 in Environmental Compliance and Workplace Health and Safety, but her roots in the water industry go back much further. Her family owned the Sparkletts Water Co., started in 1920 by “Daddy Arnds.” At the time, Sparkletts got its water from a well in Eagle Rock near York Boulevard and Avenue 48.

She finds the history of water in Los Angeles fascinating and hopes employees take the time to learn more about Metropolitan’s history. “This knowledge is a powerful tool,” Victoria says, “especially for the new generation of water professionals that will be shaping Metropolitan’s future.“

Not surprisingly, water was a big topic of conservation in Victoria’s home They spoke so much about water that one of her four sons joined Met’s Apprentice program.  Brandon Buckholtz , is a journeyman electrician at Mills (pictured above).

On her time off, Victoria enjoys traveling the world, writing a blog and spending time with her grandchildren. One more delicious detail about Victoria is that she is the mother–in-law of Lynsi Snyder, owner of the In-N-Out Burger Company. She offers this tip: “The best way to order your burger is with whole grilled onions and a Neapolitan shake!” 
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
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