A Wastewater Holiday Wish List

As a little holiday distraction, we've rounded up a few water- and wastewater-related items for your entertainment. Enjoy this wastewater gift-giving guide.
A Wastewater Holiday Wish List
A stuffed microbe for Christmas? Yes, please. Giant Microbes offers every microorganism a lab technician could hope for.

We’re all hurrying and scurrying a little bit this time of year. And as much as we want to slow down and just breathe for a few minutes, the holiday to-do list says, “no.” There are cookies to decorate! The family Christmas card isn’t done! YOU CAN’T FIND THE NATIVITY SET! Not to mention you have the regular work world to deal with each day. Sometimes, January can’t come soon enough.

So, as a little holiday distraction we’ve rounded up a few water- and wastewater-related items for your entertainment. Some are silly, others serious. If you’re looking for the oddball gift for a co-worker, you might just find it here. No promises, but maybe — just maybe — you’ll at least find yourself grinning a little amidst the busyness of the season.

Without further ado, we present: a wastewater holiday wish list.

1. Giant microbes
Just saying, “I’m giving my co-worker the flu for Christmas,” should be enough to make you grin. Seriously. Stuffed microbes? This is genius. You’ll find everything from red blood cells to salmonella to tetanus, all as cute stuffed microbes produced at 1 million times actual size. Don’t lie. You know you’ve already thought of someone who needs a little scum (Biddullphia). www.giantmicrobes.com

2. Trash Pack sewer truck
“Should I get little Johnny a train set, a fire truck or … a vacuum truck,” you find yourself wondering as you browse the toy catalog. That’s right. This year little Johnny can own his own Trash Pack Sewer Truck, which sucks up germs and releases them into a decontaminate chamber. You can add to the fun with a Trash Pack Sewer Dump playset. www.amazon.com 

3. 'Trapped Under the Sea'
For you nonfiction aficionados, Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles Into the Darkness should move to your wish list. Award-winning writer Neil Swidey tells the story of Boston’s dirty harbor and the construction of a state-of-the-art treatment plant and 10-mile-long tunnel. It's a suspenseful tale that reminds us how “behind every bridge, tower and tunnel — behind the infrastructure that makes modern life possible — lies unsung bravery and extraordinary sacrifice.” www.amazon.com

4. Flushing Awesome gear
Last year we reported on a cheeky marketing campaign from King County (Washington) aimed at keeping wipes and other items out of the wastewater system. (See, King County is So Flushing Awesome) Well, good news! You can purchase T-shirts, mugs and even baby bibs from the Flushing Awesome store.  www.zazzle.com/flushing_awesome

5. All the Way to the Ocean
Looking for an educational gift? All the Way to the Ocean by Joel Harper has been used by municipalities around the country as a public education element. It’s a great way to explain how sewer and stormwater systems affect the environment and our water sources. A perfect supplement for school and community libraries. To read more about the program and the book, check out  "Stormwater Education: What's the Big Deal About a Candy Wrapper."  www.allthewaytotheocean.com

6. Wastewater greeting cards
Want to show your appreciation to your staff, friends or colleagues? Or maybe just wish them all a happy New Year? The Water Environment Federation has you covered with a pack of 10 operator greeting cards. The inside is blank, so the message is up to you. The industry-specific 4- by 6-inch cards come with blank envelopes. We promise you won't find something like this at Hallmark. www.e-wef.org

7. A subscription to Treatment Plant Operator
Who said gifts must cost something? A subscription to Treatment Plant Operator magazine is absolutely free, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving all year. Send your co-worker a copy. It’s as simple as filling out an online form. You don’t even need to wrap it!  www.tpomag.com/order/subscription

8. Water for the People donation
On a more serious note, we end this list with a donation to Water for the People, which will go far beyond the holiday season. The organization focuses on providing access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation in countries such as Bolivia, India, Uganda, Guatemala and more.  Last year, TPOmag.com spoke with the Water Buffaloes, who raise money for the organization. Take a look at their story, and then check out what a difference a donation can make. www.waterforpeople.org/winter-campaign


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