Here's a Chance to Share Your Plant Entrance Sign With Your Peers

The welcome sign in front of your facility can give visitors a great impression. You’re invited to send a picture of your sign to share with Treatment Plant Operator readers.

Ever since my son was little, we’ve had fun pointing out business signs with letters missing. A big-box store for months advertised One Hour Phot (the “o” was missing from “Photo”). Once a butcher shop touted Bee Tenderloin. I think you know what that should have said.

It has often amazed me that some businesses pay so little attention to their signage. A letter falls off. The light inside a letter burns out. Weeks and months go by and it doesn’t get fixed. What does that kind of neglect say to prospective customers? Whatever it is, it can’t be good.

Best face forward

A sign means a lot. It’s often the first thing a customer sees. A sign with letters missing, or with faded, peeling paint, might be better than no sign at all. But consider the impact of a colorful, appealing sign, well-maintained. That’s bound to give a customer a positive vibe on the way in the door.

Signs are also important to water and wastewater treatment plants. Even though you’re not there to do retail business, you still want your customers (community residents) to see you in the best possible light. A great welcome sign can help.

It’s true that many treatment plants are in low-traffic areas; in such cases, a sign might not seem essential. But one could easily argue that’s where a sign is especially important since without one, many if not most people have no idea the plant is there. If you want people to support the rate increase for that near-future plant upgrade, it helps if people start out with some idea that the plant exists, what it’s there for, and what you do.

So, why not have a sign — an eye-catching, attractive one — not just in front of your building, but at the beginning of the road or long driveway that leads to your plant?

A worthwhile investment

A great sign isn’t necessarily cheap, but going without one for that reason may well be a case of false economy. Besides, many plant operators are quite handy. If a local designer can be hired to create a concept for a sign, chances are plant team members can conspire to handle at least part of the execution, such as the installation and the related plantings of flowers and shrubs.

So, what do you say? What’s your sign like? Do you have one? Is it just the plant name routed into plain-looking boards? Or is it something with true eye appeal? Something that conveys at a glance the purpose of your facility? A water droplet? A glass of water? A leaping fish? A scenic riverscape?

Take a picture. Send it in.

If you are proud of your plant sign, Treatment Plant Operator invites you to share it. You’ll earn some credit from your peers, and you might inspire other plant teams to create signs of their own and put their best face forward.

If you want to contribute, just take a digital photo of your sign, with your team members around it if you wish, and send it to me at We’ll publish some of the most striking, most meaningful examples of great signage. I’m looking forward to seeing examples of some of the best signs our industry has to offer.


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