Public Education Program
Novato Sanitary District collaborates with neighboring agencies to sponsor and support a variety of innovative programs to help educate children about wastewater treatment, improve science and math understanding and help individuals learn how they can protect the environment.
Award Winning Collaborative Public Education Program
In 2007, the Wastewater Treatment Agencies of Marin County Public Education Program was created by six Marin County Sanitary Districts
- Novato Sanitary District
- Central Marin Sanitary Agency (CMSA)
- Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District (LGVSD)
- Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin (SASM)
- Sanitary District No. 5 of Marin County
- Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District (SMCSD)
By working together, these agencies can do more and reach more people. Many of the educational activities that the District has been involved in are organized through this program and are described below.
Educational Programs the District Participates In
Wetlands Days is a successful program sponsored by the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin (SASM) in collaboration with a variety of other non-profit organizations and public agencies including the District. Wetlands Days teaches 3rd graders from Novato and other areas in Marin County about wildlife, the environment, and habitats.
District and Veolia staff teach students about birds and the importance of our water environment at the 2015 Wetlands Days program
A YouTube video was created to show the benefits of the Wetland Days program for the students:
High School P2 Audit Project
The Public Education Program participates in the North Bay Watershed Association (NBWA) Water Quality Committee through pollution prevention staff at various agencies. From 2006 to 2016, the NBWA Water Quality Committee has sponsored a program called the “High School P2 Audit Project.” . Students collect and analyze samples from their school and the environment to determine levels of mercury and copper they are regularly exposed to. The high school outreach program was expanded in 2013 when the Public Education Program joined Marin School of Environmental Leadership for a semester long project at a San Rafael High School to discuss and perform sampling for metals, bacteria, pH, and dissolved oxygen as well as analyze for pharmaceuticals and contaminants of emerging concern in the Bay, local creeks, and at a wastewater treatment plant.
The District and the Public Education Program staff outreach booths at many public events in which pollution prevention issues are addressed. These events included the Marin County Fair (5 days); San Rafael and Novato Farmers Markets (four events total); Earth Day Marin Academy; Spring Marin Home and Garden Expo (two days); Novato Business Showcase; Fairfax Ecofest; Ross School District Presentation; Novato Scream on the Green; Mill Valley Trunk or Treat event; Marin School of Environmental Leadership High School Program.
EDUCATIONAL QUIZZES: Visitors to the booths have an opportunity to take a quiz on pollution prevention topics.
ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT RELEVANT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: In addition to administering quizzes, booth staff spoke with members of the public and answered their questions regarding pollution prevention, wastewater treatment and water recycling, and other environmental issues.
Go with the Flow Juggler Show Teaches the Importance of Keeping Water Clean
For these shows, the Public Education Program teams up with Doug Nolan of ROCK STEADY JUGGLING to provide an assembly style program in which Doug used juggling, magic, and comedy to teach students about the importance of keeping our water clean. Topics include wastewater treatment, being mercury-free, and the many ways to keep Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) out of our household drains. Doug informs the students about the problems associated with dumping FOG down the drain while he flirts with disaster by juggling a whole turkey, a skillet with fried eggs and sausages, and a bowling ball!
“Blue Ribbon Sponsor” for the FastForward School Outreach Publication.
The Public Education Program was a “Blue Ribbon Sponsor” for the FastForward school outreach publication. The newsletter prints 20,000 copies each month during the school year and distributes them to all public and private schools in Marin County. The Public Education Program annually sponsors the “eco kids” page with environmental and pollution prevention messages and school projects. However, the FastFoward publication was not published in 2016. The Public Education Program will consider sponsoring FastForward in future years if it returns to publication.
Public Tours and Presentations to Community Groups
The District conducts tours of the Novato Plant upon request from schools, community groups, and other members of the public. Tours of District facilities are available by appointments and the District offers public speakers, free of charge, to present programs for organizations within its service area about recycled water, wastewater treatment, and pollution prevention. In 2016, the District conducted one plant tour for five members of the Marin Association of Sewer and a school tour for 175 participants.
Call the District Office to find out about scheduling a tour: 415-892-1694