Pipe Artistry at the Regional Recycled Advanced Purification Center. Photo by Kevin Mapp.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
July 1, 2019

WaterTalk is taking a holiday break next week and resuming on Monday, July 15. Wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July.
Metropolitan's Annual Report on Water Quality
How many parts per trillion of NDMA are there in Metropolitan’s water system? “That's EASY,” you say. “I’ve got the 2019 Water Quality Report." The answer is: about three parts per trillion, less than three grains of sand in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Metropolitan’s Annual Water Quality Report is a resource for the district’s 26 public member agencies, since Metropolitan is one (or all) of their sources of water supply.

Did you know?
Metropolitan tests its water for almost 400 constituents and performs nearly 250,000 water quality tests annually on samples gathered throughout its vast distribution system.

Metropolitan and your local water provider must tell you the sources of your water supply, what is in the drinking water and whether any constituents exceed the maximum state and federal set contaminant levels.

This is explained in three pages of tables in the report, along with a Reader’s Guide. The first table details drinking water standards related to health. Another has secondary drinking water standards involving aesthetics like appearance, taste and smell. The third table reports on items like total dissolved solids after the water leaves the treatment plants. There's also a section on watershed protection programs.

If you don’t have time to read the whole report, here's the bottom line: Metropolitan meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water regulations with flying colors. 
Huge June Snow Pack: Where Will the Water Go?
An updated water conditions report was presented to the Water Planning and Stewardship Committee in June and highlighted the extraordinary efforts Metropolitan is taking to maximize water storage this year.

The water year saw about 50 atmospheric rivers in California, according to Demetri Polyzos who made the presentation . The number of storms wasn't too unusual but many of them were very cold. That resulted in above average snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Upper Colorado Basin.

One result is that the State Water Project allocation to contractors – including Metropolitan – was recently increased to 75%. And higher runoff for the Colorado River has pushed off threats of storage on that system.

It’s all good news for water managers.

Between the two imported water systems, the amount of water supply available to Metropolitan is just over 2.4 million acre-feet. Demands for water have dropped slightly to about 1.5 million acre-feet. The difference between the supply and demands is what Metropolitan can store for future dry years or emergencies.

That extra water is going into local reservoirs, into groundwater basins and Several other programs are helping to store water “just about everywhere we can,” according to the committee presentation.

Metropolitan’s total dry-year storage balance at the end of the year is expected to be roughly 3.2 million acre feet, the highest storage balance in our history.
Water for Work and Recreation
There are some interesting parallels between Russell Turk’s personal hobbies and his career at Metropolitan.

At work, he is the team manager of WSO’s Valve/Dive Team, comprised of divers who service underwater equipment needs, such as inspecting reservoirs and removing invasive quagga mussels, and mechanics who troubleshoot and refurbish a variety of large valves.

Outside of work, Russell is an accomplished sailor, having traveled nearly 50,000 miles on the sea. His latest adventure was a month-long, 4,000-mile trek from the Virgin Islands to Portugal.

“I knew the job at Metropolitan was a pretty good fit for me because I’m a mechanic, an engineer and a diver. It’s unusual to have someone with that combination of skills in their background,” he said. “I’m a water person, so I am lucky to be able to work where I often find myself on the water.”

Russell joined Metropolitan 22 years ago as a metallurgical engineer. He later worked in Project Management as the Weymouth plant engineer before moving into the Maintenance Support Unit six years ago.

In his free time, he competes in weekly sailing races, usually off the coast of Long Beach or to Catalina Island. He has also raced twice to Hawaii and to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. His next adventure will be to the Mediterranean in September.

“It’s always something new," he says. "Every race and every destination is different. You don’t know what you’re going to face - and that makes it an adventure.”
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
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