By Ted AYALA
Glendale City council issued a proclamation on Sept. 30 marking a historic occasion in the annals of local history: the centennial of the creation of Glendale Water & Power (GWP).
In service since 1914, GWP was founded just under a decade after the city in 1906. After complaints over the poor service offered by the private water utilities that then held the reigns of the local water supply – with supplies tending to be sporadic and polluted when it was available – the city placed a $248,000 bond on the ballot before the voters that would allow Glendale to purchase and consolidate those agencies. The bond was a success and, as the city grew so did the utility, absorbing other utilities as the years passed.
Since then the city of 14,000 that existed at the GWP’s birth has swelled to 14 times that size and with it so has the needs of the city. Initially receiving most of its supply from local ground water, Glendale now receives two-thirds of its supply from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) Colorado River Aqueduct.
In its 100th year, GWP continues to meet the challenges posed by population growth and changing water supplies. Capital improvements to its systems are underway, while the use of recycled and treated water is being used for irrigation and cleaning. And while problems with chromium-6 levels have hampered water supplies in other municipalities, the standards of GWP’s water supply meet and surpass state and federal standards.
Photographs and documents detailing the history of the GWP will be displayed to the public at its office on 141 N. Glendale Ave. beginning this month.For more information, go online to http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/glendale-water-and-power.