So I naively assumed this story would dull, Delta Dental donated a bunch of money to be used for grants that were given out to update fluoridation equipment, wowee. But then I met Clyde Dugan from the Water Treatment Plant who may just be the nicest human being on earth.
Due to some massive construction, the roads to the plant were blocked off except for one random road through a little neighborhood which my GPS refused to believe existed. I called Clyde twice in a panic because I had no clue how to get through the winding labyrinth, I was waiting for Bowie to pop out and sing, and he gave me perfect directions and opened the intimidating gate that surrounds the entire plant.
Once inside, it was a time machine, every hall looked like the sepia colored pictures in my parents year books. Old walls, brown brick everywhere, I think the 70′s are still alive at 2470 Burcham.
I had a nice interview with Clyde who knew everything about everything fluoride related. He told me that the current pumps are from 1993 and will be replaced with the grant money. Then I asked to see the pumps. Now we move from the 70′s to LOST-esque decor. We walked down flight after flight of stairs to what he called “the bowels of the building”. Which, considering the place was hot, groaning and constantly churning out water, seemed pretty much on the mark.
The laboratory was full of test tubes and pipes, the systems chart on the wall was illuminated with red LED lights to show the flow, and the pumps and machines were a noisy mess. Everything had a fake bright, almost green, shine to it. The plant area felt very sci-fi, I was expecting a man in a lab coat to walk out with a monkey at any time.
The contrast from the upstairs to the bowels was drastic. To the naked eye you never would have guessed what was going on downstairs. Which made this story pretty cool. From now on, I will raise my glass of water to Clyde, the man who was completely unfazed by the amazing things going on under his feet.