A blog post by Krissy Pennypacker, Laboratory Supervisor, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Borough of Pottstown
The Leadership Tri-County Class had a “Day of Government” for our April session. I know most of you will say you hate politics and that our government does nothing for us, but hear me out. Our group was joined by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class who we were able to greet and network with before our speakers arrived. First we heard from Carl Marrara of PA Manufacturer’s Association, and Alex Rahn of Wanner Associates who discussed the importance of advocacy groups for our communities. Advocacy groups are our voices to our government officials. They present ideas to our leaders which in turn could lead to new laws being developed to benefit everyone. Next, Senator Mensch, Senator Killion, and House Republican Caucus Executive Director Jessica Grey discussed the status of Pennsylvania’s budget.
We then toured the Capital Building and what a magnificent piece of architecture it is! From the gold leaf accents, stained glass windows and marbled floors, to the artwork reflecting various historical events, it was truly a site to see! There were also various advocacy groups standing on the stairs of the foyer stating their cause. Our day in the Capital ended with a presentation by Tracey Dukert, Digital Director for the PA Department of Education, on how important a digital presence like social media is in our government. Most of our leaders have Facebook accounts and interact with their constituents that way. Social media has become an important part in our daily lives so our representatives need to understand that and be a part of it.
Our last part of our day was perhaps my favorite. Okay I may be a little partial because I work there. Do you wonder what happens after you rinse down your sink or flush your toilet? Of course not! But you should. Our tour of the Pottstown Wastewater Treatment Plant, conducted by Karen Owens, Leadership Class of 2018, explained the in’s and out’s (pun intended) of how this system works. I gave a brief overview of our certified laboratory, then Karen took over. Microorganisms are the true workhorse of the plant, breaking down the waste throughout the treatment process. The plant is permitted by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency. Final processing creates an effluent that is discharged to the Schuylkill River. It’s important for that effluent to meet all permit requirements so as to preserve the water quality of the river, which is a source of recreation and drinking water for many.
I recommend those who haven’t taken a tour of the Capital Building or the treatment plant to do so. You may realize that politics and the wastewater plant really don’t stink……..maybe only a little.