On Wednesday October 23, 2019, the Bristol Water Department will join water utilities, elected officials, community leaders, educators, and businesses from across the country as part of the fifth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water. Led by the Value of Water Campaign, a thousand organizations across the country will raise awareness about not taking water for granted and the crucial need to protect our most valuable resource. 

To promote the day, the Bristol Water Department is holding a poster contest open to all 3rd grade students in Bristol. The contest is partnership with Bristol Public Schools, the Environmental Learning Center, Lake Compounce and the Connecticut chapter of the American Water Works Association. Students were asked to submit a poster showing how “A Day Without Water Would Affect Them.” All submitted posters will be judged at the Annual Fall Conference of the Connecticut Section of American Water Works and Connecticut Water Works Association on October 23rd.

The conference is attended by water industry leaders from across the State along with State Officials from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The posters will be judged by State Officials and Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. The top 3 winners will be awarded prizes including 2 Gold Season Passes to Lake Compounce, a free week of Day Camp at the Environmental Learning Center and a Bristol Water Department / Bristol All Heart Swag Bag. In addition to the great prizes for the artists, each winning artist’s teacher will win a $100.00 gift card to Staples for classroom supplies.

Representatives from the Bristol Water Department will also be providing tours at the Water Treatment Plant for Bristol Eastern and Central High School Environmental Studies students. The tours will provide an in depth focus on how water stored in the City’s reservoirs is treated to become safe for consumption and then delivered to the City’s residents. Students will also learn about the various career fields available in the water industry. 

“Turning on the tap for clean, safe drinking water, and flushing the toilet with no second though about what happens, are actions most Americans take for granted every day. But drought, flooding, and population changes are stressing our water and wastewater systems. While most Americans enjoy reliable water service, many communities are not as fortunate,” stated Robert Longo, Bristol Water Superintendent. 

“The Bristol Water Department joined Imagine a Day Without Water to attract attention to the need for safe and reliable drinking water. The initiative also fit in with many of the projects the City has recently done to help encourage conservation, promote safe drinking water and reduce municipal waste,” stated Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. This past summer, the Public Works Department installed rain barrels at several schools and city buildings.

Principal Emily Gomes of Ivy Drive School commented on rain barrels recently installed in both courtyards, in locations where they can collect the natural runoff from rain fall. “This collection of water is being used to nurture the pollination garden and raised bed vegetable and herb gardens, thus making the gardens virtually self-sustainable. Having the rain barrels as resources has allowed staff and administration with an opportunity to use the school community as an example to teach students about sustainable means of energy”.

“In August, the Bristol Water Department donated new Water Bottle Filling Stations at City Hall and reusable water bottles to City employees to replace older water fountains in most city owned properties,” stated Councilwoman Mary Fortier, liaison to the Water Department. 

“The new stations allow for reusable water bottles to be refilled with cold water while keeping track of how many bottles were filled. When City employees and residents use the new stations to fill a reusable water bottle, they are not only saving themselves money, but it’s one less plastic bottle going to a landfill” stated Longo. In less than 30 days, some of the new fountains have totaled up over 500 bottles filled.

Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for diverse organizations, from environmental advocates to coffee shops, aquariums to car washes, city halls to water utilities, to talk about what water is important to them. Over the past five years, it has provided a platform for educating the public and advocating for leaders to prioritize investing in water today, so in the future no American will have to imagine a day without water. 

Starting at 8:00 AM and continuing hourly until 8:00 PM on October 23rd, the Bristol Water Department will be putting out water facts, trivia, ways to conserve and department information on their website along with their social media so customers can join in the day. To learn more please visit the Departments website at BristolWaterDept.org or on social media at facebook.com/bristolwaterdept.org , twitter@BristolH20 or Instagram Bristolh20.

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