Treatment Facilities Celebrate World Water Day

Saturday, March 24th was a busy day at the Brightwater Clean-Water Treatment Facility in Woodinville, WA, just outside Seattle. The Utility’s Education and Community Center was full of family-oriented science experiments and art projects with organized tours of the wastewater treatment plant taking place throughout the day. All in recognition of International World Water Day which had occurred two days before.

Celebrated every year, World Water Day focuses on the importance of freshwater and the sustainable management of freshwater resources. It received its designation from the United Nations General Assembly on 22 December 1992 and was first celebrated March 22nd 1993.

Each year, UN-Water establishes a theme for the day. This year’s theme was Nature for Water, focusing on how we can use nature to overcome water challenges.

And the King County, WA, treatment facility was not alone in using the Day to spotlight the public’s attention on their water and wastewater treatment providers’ services to the local community. Up and down the country and all around the world, similar outreach programs took place, many registering their event on UN-Water’s website.

For example, the Madison, WI, Metropolitan Sewerage District offered a public program to educate their customers about the district’s work in restoring 140 acres of wetlands and create a habitat that hosts more than 200 bird and waterfowl species. Participants were also offered a tour of the district’s new LEED Platinum certified Maintenance Facility and struvite harvesting plant, which removes phosphorus from the wastewater stream for shipment out of the watershed.

“NASA Goddard Space Flight Center” The Water Planet © 2010


The University Area Joint Authority in State College, PA which serves the Penn State University and neighboring community hosted a live virtual event to take an in-depth look at their water reuse system and the results for their community.

The city of San Antonio, TX, used Facebook Live to test the water quality of the famous San Antonio River Walk and speak about the history of the region’s water, connecting their community with water science.

Student group’s at Florida International University in Miami, FL, got involved by running education tables in the Biscayne Bay campus’ central square to talk to their fellow students about the important impact of how water use can make a big difference, encouraging students to trade in single-use plastic bottles for a reusable one.

Often times, UN-sanctioned water initiatives focus on the water scarcity and sanitation needs of the world at large and third-world countries in particular, where access to clean water is severely under stress. But International World Water Day is a great opportunity for utilities across the globe to reach out to their local communities who too many times take water and wastewater treatment for granted.

What do you have planned for March 22nd, 2019?