CORRECTION : Optimizing cell culture techniques to detect viruses for testing pathogen removal at the Regional Recycled Water Advance Purification Center. Photo by Andrew Au.
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
August 26, 2019

 Congratulations to Tim Rushing from Metropolitan's
Diemer facility who won the drawing for the LA Rams-Saints tickets. Thanks to the nearly 200 employees who participated.
MWD Service Area Valuation Tops $3 Trillion
Every year, Metropolitan receives an updated assessed valuation of all properties in our six-county service area. This year, for the first time, the total valuation topped $3 trillion.

-- Los Angeles $1.5 trillion
-- Orange $625 billion
-- San Diego $538 billion
-- Riverside $196 billion
-- San Bernardino $120 billion
-- Ventura $108 billion

The assessed value is used by the counties to calculate property taxes. But it also determines how many representatives each member agency has on Metropolitan's Board. That's because each member agency is entitled to one board member and then may appoint an additional representative for each full 5 percent of the taxable property in their service area. 

Based on the overall assessed valuations for FY 2019/20, there is no change in the number of directors each member agency currently has on the Board.

Still, the new numbers reveal some interesting trends. The member agencies with the largest percentage gains in assessed value were Compton and West Basin MWD (both up 7.2%), followed by Los Angeles, Anaheim and Eastern MWD (all had a 6.8% increase). 

For total property values, Los Angeles led - with the San Diego County Water Authority and the Municipal Water District of Orange County close behind.

And in case you're wondering just how much 3 trillion is, consider this: three trillion seconds equals about 95,000 years. 
Santa Monica Feeder Pipeline Evaluation
Comprising 830 miles, Metropolitan’s vast water distribution pipeline system crisscrosses much of Southern California. Nearly half the system – 388 miles is steel pipe, followed by 279 miles of reinforced concrete pipelines and 155 miles of PCCP.

But a very small section – just eight miles – is made of cast iron. All of that pipe is along the Santa Monica Feeder, a 22.8 mile system that provides water from the Weymouth Plant to Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

Senior Engineer Cathy Chau is the project manager working to develop a long-term approach that will ensure the Feeder is reliable. Last week, she provided the Board’s Engineering and Operations Committee with a mid-term update of the work. See the full presentation here .

The cast iron pipe was installed in 1941 because that's what was readily available at the time. Cast iron pipe is thicker than steel, but over time is susceptible to corrosion, and joint movements caused by pressure surges, seismic conditions and localized ground settlement.

Metropolitan is using innovative technologies to provide information on the pipeline. Two devices - the Smart Ball and Sahara - use acoustic technology to detect leaks. Two others - the PipeDiver and SeeSnake - are being used to determine the condition of the pipeline walls.

After the data is collected and examined, staff will complete the assessment of the Santa Monica Feeder and return to the Board in late 2020 to present the findings.
He's Dealing IT a Great Hand
What do you get when you combine a former Las Vegas poker dealer with someone who served in the U.S. Navy as a nuclear engineer?

You get Dave Schomaker , one of Metropolitan’s most innovative and customer-service oriented IT Infrastructure Administrators.

“My background as a Nuke (nuclear engineer) in the Navy gave me a lot of experience with water systems and fluid flow,” Dave says. “The technology used to support reactors and those systems in the Navy led to my interest in Information Technology. When I was looking for my next career step, Metropolitan was the perfect place because it provided a confluence of those two interests.”

Today, some of Dave’s projects include the Pulse mobile device roll-out and upgrades to the conference and Board rooms’ video conferencing system using smartboards. He also helps provide a bird’s eye view of Met's vast water system and facilities as a member of the drone team, and assists with network systems budgeting, billing and inventory. On Board meeting days, he often provides IT support with agenda and editing issues.

Outside of work, Dave is a big Chicago Cubs fan (the team’s logo even appears on his email signature). He also loves surfing, playing softball and traveling. And he enjoys poker, a skill he refined while working at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as a poker dealer.

A newlywed, Dave and his wife recently rescued a dog, they’ve named Maverick. “I’ve seen Top Gun many, many times,” he confesses.  
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.
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