Education and outreach are opportunities for us to bring awareness to the many ways we all can help keep our environment thriving. Children can lead the way when they understand how their actions can impact and influence those around them.
Through presentations, educational videos and materials, and our participation in community events, we demonstrate how the water and wastewater treatment processes work, and the importance of protecting and maintaining our systems.
The materials, activities, and content of this education program are aligned with several of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) Science Benchmarks in collaboration with St. Lucie Public Schools.
For more information about classroom presentations, field trip opportunities, and Utility Systems-related resources, contact:
Jenny Tomes, APR
Assistant Manager - USD Community Outreach
Utility Systems published a children’s story about one little girl’s love of the water called Water Hugs. Written by Utility Marketing Coordinator Jenny Tomes, she read the story during her summer camp education presentations. Jenny asked the kids to draw a picture to go with each page of the story. Drawings included in the book were chosen from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Port St. Lucie Parks & Recreation summer camp programs. The artists, all Port St. Lucie residents, are 7 and 8 years old. Each received their very own copy of the book, and more are being distributed at the Utility Systems Customer Service Office located in City Hall.
Water Hugs is dedicated to all of the amazing boys and girls who take such good care of our water and we hope they enjoy this book!
Watch Protecting Paradise: Youngsters get an education in clean water on WPTV News Channel 5
Port St. Lucie Utility Systems invites St. Lucie County school students to participate in the 2022 Drop Savers Water Conservation Poster Contest in conjunction with the Florida Section American Water Works Association.
Utility Systems received 199 entries in 2022. Students in Pre-K through eighth grade from seven St. Lucie County schools participated. A winner was chosen from each grade based on the poster’s message, creativity, and originality. The students received a $25 Walmart gift card, a shirt with their poster printed on it, plus lots of other cool prizes. Congratulations to the winners!
2022 “Drop Savers” Poster Contest Winners:
The 2018 Drop Savers Water Conservation Poster Contest won the Treasure Coast Chapter Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Judges' Award for a Public Relations Program.
Explore the wonderful world of water and wastewater with Mikey the microorganism, a friendly bacteria who lives at the wastewater treatment plant.
There are lots of fun activities and coloring pages to help kids learn about where our water comes from and how we clean it up before it is sent to homes. They will also learn about the wastewater treatment process, as well as how they can help maintain our systems and save water.
By making a few simple changes at home, kids can become Water Saver Super Heroes! Wasting less water, not only helps to conserve, it helps save money on the water bill. Everyone wins when they live with a water saver super hero. So "water" you doing to help? Let’s start saving!
All of the Earth's water is part of an endless "water cycle." Through this cycle, nature cleans and moves water from the ocean to the air, then to the land and back again.
A fun way to help kids visualize the water cycle include making a wristband using yarn and different colored beads that represent each step. Kids will also like creating their own water cycle in a jar using a small plant, rocks, sand, and gravel.
A homemade water filtration system demonstrates the process in which dirty water moves through various layers that trap particles, only allowing the water to pass through.
This is a very simple and visual way to show how water percolates on Earth and is "filtered" before it reenters the aquifer.
Masses of congealed grease and other non-flushable items found in sewer systems are often referred to as “fatbergs,” which combine the words “fat” and “iceberg” to describe the look of this greasy glacier.
Meet resident troublemaker Francis FOGberg—one of those congealed masses. Francis is so much more than a fatberg though—he’s a FOGberg—fats, oil, and grease—as well other things that should not be flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain.
When FOG enters pipes, it cools and forms blockages, which prevent wastewater from flowing efficiently. It builds up over time and collects other flushed debris like wipes, medicine, and plastic products. The clogs create backups in your home and can damage infrastructure, and ultimately, wastewater cannot be properly processed and treated to make reuse.
You’ll see Francis FOGberg out and about at community events bringing awareness to the issues FOG and other non-flushable items can cause, as well as ways you can help prevent it.
A section of wastewater pipe is clogged with non-flushable items such as a washcloth, socks, and toys to demonstrate how easily a clog can occur. Only the 3 P's (pee, poo, and paper) should be flushed down the toilet, everything else should be thrown away in the garbage can.
Cups filled with water serve as toilets when comparing what happens to both toilet paper and wipes once flushed. Using a spoon to stir, the toilet paper quickly breaks down while the wipe stays completely intact.
Tours of the water and wastewater facilities allow kids to see the treatment processes and equipment first-hand while learning how the systems work from the men and women who operate them.