The Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) offered a tour of their facilities to Mammoth Middle School 6thgrade students and the public last month. MCWD provided the tour as a way for customers to get a better understanding of what the District does to provide water and wastewater services to the Mammoth Lakes community. The student tour was provided as part of the 6th grade LivingWise energy and water conservation program.
The public tour attracted about 24 participants. The tour started with a presentation describing the Mammoth Lakes watershed, how the snowpack serves as a natural reservoir, the tools used to measure snowpack, and the infrastructure necessary to deliver water to customers. Participants also learned about MCWD’s conservation programs and the tools utilized by staff to monitor water use.
The group then toured the wastewater treatment plant by visiting each step of the treatment process and finishing in the laboratory. MCWD staff were available to address the numerous questions participants asked.
A favorite question from one young attendee was, “Do the squirrels fall or jump into the pools?” By pools, he was referring to the primary clarifier, the first basin receiving raw sewage. While there are not many squirrels going for a dip, the District had to install an electric fence to keep out bears and a screen to keep birds out.
“The animals are attracted to the grease” said Tyler Nelson, Wastewater Chief Plant Operator, “that is one of the many reasons the District is encouraging customers to keep grease out of the drains and only flush toilet paper, anything else, causes problems”
In addition to touring the wastewater treatment plant, the Middle School students also visited stream gauging stations in the Lakes Basin and saw the inner workings of a water treatment plant.
The Mammoth Community Water District staff enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate how their infrastructure operates and engage with their community.