My Tour of Public Works: a Life-changing Experience
I have a new perspective to share on where some of our Taxpayer money goes: each time we open a faucet and potable water comes out, each time we flush the toilet, it is literally a modern miracle of engineering, talent, science, and hard work that helps us maintain these city services and our quality of life.
I went on my first tour of the Public Works facilities and I would love to share some of my experience here with you so you can have a "virtual tour". First up, we met at the "control room" where a giant computer allows the city to make sure the entire water infrastructure is functioning properly. They can monitor the quality of water, how it is flowing, shut parts of it down in an emergency, it's really amazing.
Next, we went to go and see one of the areas where the water is actually flowing and being tested. I'm sure I'm bungling that explanation but here are some great pictures. You have to realize these pipes are enormous, and we have multiple wells in the city to manage the quality of our water, extensive filter systems to keep it clean, etc. I added the Director of Public Works for perspective:
Here is one more, with just the pipes:
Next, we headed to the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) where we ran into the team that takes the cameras down the sewer pipes and inspects them. It happens that they were finding a few hiccups in the system that day and playing detective to get to the bottom of what was going on.
Then we headed to the different parts of the WWTP including a state of the art lab that we need to meet the DEQ and other regulatory requirements, these ponds and other areas that are a little "ahem" stinky but obviously critical to a functioning system:
My main takeaway for Meridian residents is this: we are planning for the long-term in our city. The investments we are making in many cases need to last us for 50+ years and cost millions of dollars. Luckily we have very smart and talented folks that are keeping a good handle on all of it, but we shouldn't lose sight and take for granted these critical systems.