ALCOSAN’s 15th annual Open House was a huge success, and I must admit that this no longer surprises me. Each year, hundreds of my employees volunteer to staff the event. They’re joined by other volunteers from many of the organizations and businesses that work with us all year. Together, this meant nearly 500 people were on hand to help ensure that our visitors enjoyed themselves at ALCOSAN on September 16.
By all accounts, the crowd had lots of fun. Our guests got up close with fish pulled from the river on Saturday morning and placed in an aquarium from the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission. They took a walk through a simulated sewer to get an idea of what life is like underground. They toured our 59-acre North Side plant and our laboratory, where 30,000 essential tests are conducted each year.
Children and their parents got soaked in a display put together by our maintenance department, and parents also learned about our SOAK program, which notifies people who use the rivers for recreation when conditions are most suitable for water activities.
This year, popcorn came with a movie, of sorts. Several videos about ALCOSAN were running in a temporary theater (OK, it was a trailer), and it gave our guests a chance to relax for a few minutes of entertainment.
From the perspective of ALCOSAN employees, the best thing about the Open House is a chance to talk with people about what we do here seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Many people have a limited understanding of ALCOSAN’s role in cleaning the region’s waterways, which is why you’ve been hearing about our efforts through our new campaign, 3 Rivers Proud.
ALCOSAN employees are eager to talk about what we do and why we do it. Pete Brunner of our Regional Conveyance Division and Camille Smith, who works in my office, are featured in the most prominent positions on our advertisements and billboards. Here’s what they had to say when I asked them why they’re 3 Rivers Proud:
“I like to take care of the Earth,” Pete said. “I love the Earth and nature, and I’m more than happy to do my part to contribute so others can have the same experience that I have in a clean and safe environment.”
Camille expressed a similar sentiment: “Water is so important. We need water. I am proud to be in a place where everyone also thinks it’s important. In cleaning the water so it’s safe for us, they’re doing something about it and not just talking about it.”
I hope you were among the thousands of people who joined us on Saturday. If not, don’t worry. We’re already looking ahead to the 2018 Open House. More details on that in the future.