By Michael BRUER
Open house highlights include informational booths, bucket rides and other demonstrations.
Students from Glendale Unified School District were privy to the first peek of the demonstrations that were planned by Glendale Water & Power at its Utility Day event on Oct. 24. Held at the GWP operations center, there were a variety of booths that offered information on water quality, water engineering, customer service and electrical engineering. The youngest of visitors were not disappointed either, with bucket truck rides and demonstrations of equipment offered.
The open house welcomed the general public from noon to 3:30 p.m. and when the afternoon crowds descended on the center, they found that, in addition to the information booths and demonstrations, they could have their photo taken at the water photo station. Those who were hungry were treated to burgers, cookies and drinks as they made their way through the enclosure.
The purpose of Utility Day organizers was to inform the public of the many services the city’s water and power department provides. One popular display showed off the many incarnations of the electric meter that is used to track the amount of electricity consumed by residents and how they are subsequently billed. A display board featured the first such meter, a model from 1888, and others through the years to the modern-day smart meter. The older models measured the quantities of oil that were burned off to determine how much electricity was used. Today’s smart meters measure the same quantities using a device that is lighter with fewer parts and offers more versatility, allowing GWP to see how and when customers are using energy – a dimension not previously measurable.
In addition to the bucket rides that were available, visitors also engaged in other demonstrations, such as the water main demonstration. Onlookers watched as workers tapped a live water line with water running through it to demonstrate how to replace a ¾-inch line with a 1.5-inch line, allowing for increased water flow to a home or business. Nearby was an electrical demonstration that displayed the volatile and dangerous nature of telephone lines.
Glendale resident Tania Endjilian enjoyed the large volume of information available at Utility Day.
“I appreciate and think it’s important that the city is making an effort to inform residents of how its departments are at work for us, and of what plans and procedures it has in place to ensure that we have continued access to water and power in the event of an emergency,” Endjilian said.
One of the more popular booths at this year’s event was one that had information on water quality. Guests had the chance to peruse a list of all the constituents that GWP is required to test for and examine some of the testing equipment utilized at the eight testing sites.
Also of note was the customer service booth that entertained guests with a carnival game while also handing out energy saving booklets that were full of tips on how residents can save energy and money at home.
For more information on Utility Day and all other inquiries regarding Glendale Water & Power, visit www.GlendaleWaterAndPower.com.