It’s been spreading like wildfire on social media. Now see how the wastewater industry has interpreted the ALS challenge.

Unless you’ve been under a rock or hidden away in a cave somewhere this past month, you know the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken over social media. And it’s raised a ton of money. As of this week, the organization has received $94.3 million in donations compared to $2.7 million during the same time period last year. All we can say is, “Wow. Just, wow.”

And as things like this do, people have twisted the challenge, adding a little panache, shall we say. Without further ado, we present a few of the more awesome wastewater challenges by those in our industry. Enjoy.

1. Treated effluent
Gary Syzek, a municipal utility district project manager near Houston, sent us this video of his effluent ice-bucket challenge. “One of the biggest challenges facing those of us that are wastewater reuse advocates is removal of public stigma and fears,” he says.

Related: Toilet-To-Tap Programs Conserve California Water



2. Toilet water
Actor Matt Damon, who also cofounded, went a step further and used actual toilet water. His reasoning? In the United States, our toilet water is cleaner than the drinking water in many third-world countries. With his challenge, Damon highlights world sanitation, drinking water needs and ALS. Well played, Matt Damon. Well played.

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3. Drought friendly
With California in a serious drought, we’ve definitely seen a nod to water conservation in ice bucket challenges. But this one probably takes the cake, er, ice bucket. Encina (Calif.) Wastewater Authority General Manager Kevin Hardy not only used treated effluent, he then collected it and watered the plant’s demonstration garden. Now that’s a drought-friendly effort all around.

Related: News Briefs: Extreme Winter Wreaks Havoc on Water Utilities



We’re sure there are plenty more creative efforts out there in the wastewater industry. Leave a comment here with a link to your ice bucket challenge.

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