Reporter's Notebook: The pipes under Meridian

Jun 14, 2019

On any given day Meridian residents generate 7.2 million gallons of sewage. On big days like Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Super Bowl, that number doubles to 14 million gallons.

All of that sewage travels through PVC pipes and ends up at the Meridian Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility, where the water is sanitized and put back in Idaho streams. I visited the facility and several other public works buildings Monday during one of the city’s annual Go with the Flow tours.

Going into the tour I didn’t know a lot about public works. My limited knowledge came from the handful of articles I had written on the subject and the things I’d seen in movies or TV shows. Some of my initial questions were answered pretty quickly: Yes, it would be nearly impossible for a murderer to leave a body in the Meridian water tower ⁠— staff have motion sensors set up at the door and throughout the tower. And no, the tunnels holding the city’s sewage pipes aren’t large enough for criminals to use them to escape ⁠— or for a group of four mutant ninja turtles to live in.

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