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'Clean Water Week' Tours of Sewage Treatment Plants Offer Glimpses Into Work Lives of 'Everyday Environmental Heroes'

PROVIDENCE The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Rhode Island Clean Water Association (RICWA) will be sponsoring open houses and tours at seven of the state's wastewater treatment facilities during Clean Water Week April 24-30 as part of a statewide effort calling attention to how wastewater infrastructure protects public health and the environment in Rhode Island.

The first open house and tour will be held at the Narragansett Bay Commission's Field Point facility Wednesday, April 27, from 5 PM to 7 PM. The tours will offer a firsthand look at these multimillion-dollar municipal facilities and the opportunity to get to know the men and women who run them. In total, Rhode Island's 19 municipal wastewater treatment facilities collect and treat around 120 million gallons of residential, commercial, and industrial wastewater every day.

"The men and women who operate Rhode Island's wastewater treatment facilities are everyday environmental heroes whose efforts protect public health and the environment and are critical to our quality of life," said DEM Acting Director Terry Gray. "Next week is Clean Water Week. Take the opportunity to take a tour and learn how much thinking and hard work go into treating wastewater."

The tour schedule is as following:

Wednesday, April 27, 5-7 PM:

NBC Fields Point Facility, Providence (2 Ernest Street)

Saturday, April 30, 10 AM-1 PM:

Block Island / New Shoreham (20 Spring Street)

East Providence (1 Crest Avenue, Riverside)

South Kingstown (275 Westmoreland Street)

Warwick (125 Arthur W. Devine Boulevard)

West Warwick (1 Pontiac Avenue)

People of all ages are welcome on the family friendly tours. Please be advised that due to infrastructure of the facilities, no open-toed shoes, high heels, or flip-flops will be allowed.

Since the adoption of the Clean Water Act in 1972, billions of federal, state, and local funds have helped design, build, upgrade, and operate sewage collection and treatment systems throughout Rhode Island. Since the 1990s, state discharge permits for these facilities have become more stringent as DEM and its partners learned more about the impacts of pollution on state waters. These treatment facilities operate all day, every day, 365 days a year. DEM's work with wastewater facility operations and maintenance staff include cooperative efforts to protect these critical systems from the impacts and threats of issues such as climate change and cyberattacks.

For information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online: http://www.dem.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 04-22-2022

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