The Fire Chief Project: What Are your milestones? How do you celebrate them

Gary treatment plant marks 75-year anniversary with an open house

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Is your treatment plant 10, 25 or 50 years old? Have you gone five years without a permit violation? Have any of your people logged milestone years of service? Perhaps you should consider marking such occasions in some way. Doing so furthers the aims of The Fire Chief Project:

  • Raise clean-water operators to the status of the fire chief.
  • Make kids grow up wanting to be clean-water operators.

The Gary (Ind.) Sanitary District took the opportunity to celebrate a major anniversary – 75 years – by holding an open house at its treatment plant. As reported in the Sun-Tribune newspaper, the event included lessons on how wastewater is treated and how residents can do their part to keep the sewers and plant functioning and area waters clean.

“The open house included a chance to tour the facility, and booths were set up to show historical pictures of the treatment plant, what the water looks like as it’s treated, and advice on what kinds of paper products can be properly flushed without clogging pipes,” the paper reported. The district treats flow from Gary and three neighboring communities.

Tanya Cousins, district’s records manager, told the newspaper, “The theme for the day is clean water is everybody’s business, so we’re trying to teach people the little things to help keep our water clean.” Plant worker Jamie Franco led tours of the plant, which discharges to the Grand Calumet River.

What milestones can you celebrate? A public tour or open house related to a key date in your facility’s history can be a great way to get your publics interested in clean-water operations – and possibly encourage a few young people to consider clean-water careers.


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