Sharing accurate information about our water and sewer infrastructure is critical to helping people understand the services we provide. DWSD’s Public Education Work Group has been leading the outreach effort to communicate this information and serve as a resource to media, environmental groups, public officials, legislators and the general public. The Public Education Work Group’s efforts were recognized by the Michigan Water Environment Association (MWEA) at their Annual Conference on June 26 with an “Educational Professional of the Year Award.”
“Operation Clean Water” is the Work Group’s most recent public outreach effort intended to share accurate information and promote positive articles about how DWSD and its suburban wholesale customers manage water and sewer infrastructure to protect public health and the environment. A series of online, print and video education materials have been created and electronically distributed. Many of these articles have also appeared in the quarterly magazine, MWEA Matters. Initial materials were developed to explain how retention treatment basins are helping to improve southeast Michigan’s waterways. The Work Group then expanded their focus to the treatment and delivery of water and wastewater and the roles that DWSD and wholesale customers play in this process. Published materials are available on www.dwsdoutreach.org
, a website managed by DWSD and its wholesale customer initiative.
The value of these materials owe much to seasoned staff from DWSD, wholesale customer communities, and MDEQ, as well as industry experts, who have shared their knowledge for the articles and participated in the videos. The Work Group’s ability to draw on these reliable sources from within the system helps to ensure that materials are timely, relevant and accurate.
Co-chaired by Mary Alfonso, Public Affairs Manager for DWSD, and Chip Tischer, Community Liaison for the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, the Work Group includes representatives from wholesale customers (Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties), MDEQ, SEMCOG and consultants. The 10-member Work Group meets about six times per year and continues to create articles on important water and wastewater topics impacting the region.