Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MWD Tour

On Sunday with all our packing done, we headed over to Metropolitan Water District for a tour of where Kevin has worked all these years.  Lauren has never been there and it has literally been years for the rest of us, so to see the changes was really interesting.

Diamond Valley Earthen Dam and Pump House

We began at Diamond Valley Dam and Lake, which are the newer additions to the MWD area and projects.  Kevin was very involved over many years of construction and then operation with one of his offices located near the pumping plant there.  It's an earthen dam that on weekends has a view point for people to drive or bike to.  The lake is open to fisherman and is stocked with fish for this purpose.  This Lake was added as a large reservoir for the dry and thirsty Southern California area.

Kevin and Kids with Diamond Valley Lake in background

Walking up the trail to the lookout point

Top overlooking Lake and Earthen Dam

Cameron and I at the viewpoint

We drove to the parking area then took the hiking trail to the top and enjoyed beautiful views from the lookout point.
Overlooking pumphouse and Diamond Valley

Afterwards because of Kevin's access we were able to tour the pumphouse and it's massive equipment.  Very impressive.

Looking at the monitor system at the pumphouse

Massive Equipment for powering the pumps

Hannah by a sample of one of the pumps steel turbines

The water pumps that move an enormous amount of water to be processed for drinking water

After touring this area, we drove a few miles up the road to the Lake Skinner Filtration plant.  This is where Kevin originally started and still spends a good deal of his time in the large area his position required him to cover for environmental compliance and emergency response duties. 

Lake Skinner Filtration Plant Entrance

We visited inside the main building and saw all the offices he's had there over the years.  Also saw the control room and labrotory, then spotted the retirement wall with it's open space awaiting Kevin's picture.

Empty spot on retirement wall for Kevin's picture

Next we took a tour of the grounds and after going up to the filter modules to look in the area that can process 150,000,000 gallons of water a day we went down underneath into the water quality tunnel that contains the chemical feeds and water analysis equipment.  This tunnel feeds water down to San Diego.  Once in there we were down about 50 feet with 30 feet of water over our heads.  It was nice and cool in there and the kids thought this was great.  Many movies have used the MWD tunnels for their filming needs.

Exiting the tunnel - see the light at the end where the door is?

From here we went to the Ozone Building and saw the massive pumps and Ozone water filtration rooms.  They had one of these rooms empty for cleaning and maintanance so we could peek in and see the rows of oxigen stones used to push air through the water.  Kevin made a great tour guide!!

Our tour guide

We then got back in the truck and headed to the Dam at Lake Skinner.  It's a smaller earthen dam than the one in Diamond Valley.  You are able to drive across the top of this dam and as we did we spotted a large bird next to the road.  As we slowed we realized this was the bald eagle that lives in this area.  Kevin had seen him at a distance before, but never this close.  He took off and circled over head then landed by the waters edge and sat staring up at us.  It was a nice sort of farewell shot for Kevin to see this.

Bald Eagle on the side of the road on top of the dam

Flying down towards the waters edge

Sitting and staring intently at us

The final stop on our tour was Kevin's Lake Skinner Office at the end of the Dam in the Survey Building.  We stopped in for a picture at his desk and a chance for him to take the phone off forward to his cell phone.  Then he took out his name tag from the door and it was off we went.

Survey Building

Kevin's office

Exit Gate as we bid farewell to Lake Skinner

Great day, and a nice farewell to the place that has been such a part of Kevin's life for so long.


  1. I love the stunning view from the look out point! I hope all is well with you and your lovely family.



    1. Nico,
      The view is beautiful, was so glad we got over there to see it. Thank you so much we are doing well and able to relax a bit as complete final preparations for our drive across country.

  2. Congratulations Kevin, on your retirement. I am sure this blog post was bitter sweet. Good memories and more great memories to be made in Florida. Good luck camping out this week :) and safe travels across the country!

    1. Thanks Becky and Chad (and family). It was a strange feeling to exit at the security gate reminded me of my last time leaving a Navy base when I left the Navy. There was excitement and anticipation for this new phase of life along with a sadness for the friends and memories I was leaving behind after 22-years. We will try to post as we travel and look forward to getting an opportunity to meet up with the Wesselman Family again. With Love - Kevin