For years, many publicly owned municipal clean water agencies were content to operate quietly outside the notice of most citizens. However, high-profile events over the past several years have brought water issues, such as flooding in the wake of extreme weather events, to the forefront of the national political dialogue. This presents an important opportunity for clean water agencies to showcase the critical work they do and the innovative technologies they utilize to protect the environment and public health of the communities they serve.
Facility tours can serve different stakeholders and objectives – such as engaging elected officials, educating the public or attracting media. By hosting a facilities tour with elected officials, their staff, or media representatives, clean water agencies can build or improve relationships with elected officials and the public, as well as highlight how public policy impacts the operations of wastewater treatment and stormwater systems. Tours help Members of Congress and their staff remember the critical role your agency plays and can help advance your agency as a steward of public health and the environment.
Tours also provide excellent media outreach. Seeing facilities and hearing the success stories, technological improvements, awards/achievements, and unique challenges can help the press better understand and translate the important work taking place every day and the impact of policy decisions
Due to the complex nature of the wastewater treatment process and municipal stormwater management, it is important to illustrate the operation and role of these facilities and systems and the potential for future innovation.
This guide will provide you with the tools you need to conduct outreach to congressional staff and plan and execute a successful facility tour. So, start planning a tour today and help show how clean water agencies contribute to a healthy and thriving environment and economy.