City leaders are hoping an improved waste water system will last for years to come thanks to a little education.
Water is one of our most valuable resources and a key to success in any community.
"Water is becoming a complex problem," said Sheila Shockey of Shockey Consulting.
Her company has been in St. Joseph over the last two years, asked by the City Council to implement an education program about water.
The council paid Shockey's company $75,000 over the past two years. Next week, there will be another council vote to spend $75,000 more to help St. Joseph residents understand more about the water we put into our city's waste water treatment system.
"This is done To really make sure we are keeping things clean and not polluted," said Jody Carlson, St. Joseph Public Works Director.
The consulting group is getting their message across through speaking engagements, presentations and other demonstrations. Their goal is to show the importance of water conservation and limiting the amount of water that enters our waste water treatment system.
"They utilize rain barrels," Carlson said. "If they disconnect their storm drain spouts and it doesn't go into the street and down our storm drains and down to our water treatment plant."
Other projects try to help people better understand our drainage system, raising awareness about what goes into our street sewers ends up costing us money.
"If we can accomplish that and reduce the amount of water going in, then we've done a great thing," Carlson said. "That will help us as rate payers."
As we already know in the midwest, the future of water is unpredictable.
"As we have droughts and as we have wet periods and they fluctuate from year to year," Shockey said. "People that want to have nice yards and nice gardens understand how important it is to potentially save water and use it in a more responsible way."
The Department of Natural Resources requires cities to participate in some kind of water education program.
Council members will vote on the funding at their meeting next Tuesday.