Water Week Makes a Splash with Local Professionals

TBWWT Tour_1

Above: Water Week participants tour the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The first week of June was Water Week for LiveGreenLexington Partners and LiveGreenLexington Games participants, and it went swimmingly!  Representatives of Lexington businesses and organizations participated in events ranging from presentations to community service projects, all with one goal in mind: to raise awareness of water quality and conservation issues, and help our professional family get involved in making changes for the better.

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Above: A newly stenciled storm drain on Walton Avenue.

Over the course of Water Week, 26 individuals representing 7 businesses and organizations came together to learn, converse, and take action on water quality and consumption issues at work, at home, and in the community.  An educational lunch and learn on June 3rd provided ideas, resources, and information on developing a more sustainable and water-friendly workplace.  On June 4th, we toured the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant for an eye-opening (and fragrant) behind-the-scenes look at how Lexington’s wastewater is treated.  At the end of the week, our focus shifted from wastewater to stormwater; intrepid volunteers picked up 77 pounds of trash and 12 pounds of recyclables that littered a local stream on June 5th, and stenciled more than a dozen storm drains on June 6th with an anti-littering message to remind their fellow citizens to keep our water clean.

Thanks and kudos to our LiveGreenLexington Partners and Greensource staff for making Water Week 2014 a success!  We had an educational and entertaining week, and we’re already hoping that Water Week 2015 will be even better.

If you represent a Fayette County business or organization that places value on sustainability, ask us about becoming a LiveGreenLexington Partner today!  You’ll join over 700 other Lexington organizations working toward a more sustainable future.


‘Is there really anything we can do about water?’ Yes – and then some!

Through our work with the city’s LiveGreenLexington Program – a program that recognizes and assists with the sustainability efforts of local businesses, places of worship and apartment complexes – I spend a lot of time talking to my fellow Lexingtonians about going green in the workplace. The one thing that always trips people up is water; from large offices to mom-and-pop shops, the most common response is, “Is there really anything we can do about that?”

The answer is yes – even small changes that might not seem like much can make a big impact on a business’ water consumption and the quality of the water supply we rely on! To share some ideas and insight, offer some inspiration, and get our business community involved in water quality and conservation, Bluegrass Greensource is hosting a series of events during the first week of June.

 (Photo provided)

Storm drain stenciling is one of Bluegrass Greensource’s Water Week activities.

Our Water Week schedule:

Tuesday, June 3: Lunch-and-Learn on Water
Quality and Conservation in the Workplace

12 – 1 p.m. in the Plantory (560 E. Third Street) Conference Room
Eliminate waste, reduce your water bill and help make Kentucky’s streams a little cleaner with these simple tips on water quality and conservation. We’ll focus on easy, practical fixes – indoors and out – to help your business use water more efficiently, even if your space is leased and you don’t have as much control over the big picture as you would like. Lunch from Stella’s Kentucky Deli and Magic Beans coffee are on us (bring your own mug if you have one). Please RSVP by 2 p.m. on Friday, May 30 so that we can ensure there’s a lunch waiting for you.

Wednesday, June 4: Tour of the Town
Branch Waste Water Treatment Plant

10 – 11 a.m. at the Town Branch Administrative Building (301 Lisle Industrial Avenue)
Where does the water you use wind up once it goes down the drain? Sixty percent of Lexington’s wastewater (up to 64 million gallons a day) runs through the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the water you use at home and at work is cleaned and treated before being discharged back into the water system.

Thursday, June 5: Stream Cleanupp
2-4 p.m. at the Park Hills Shopping Center (3120 Pimlico Parkway)
We don’t always think of litter as a water quality issue, but it is; nothing makes that more apparent than seeing just how much litter washes directly into streams through our storm sewer system. Help us clean up the stream behind the Bluegrass Greensource office in the Park Hills Shopping Center; we’ll provide gloves, bags and litter pickers. Be sure to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes that you don’t mind getting wet (just in case…we won’t ask you to dive in). Sign-in runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Bluegrass Greensource office – stay as long as you like!

Friday, June 6: Storm Drain Stenciling
2-4 p.m. on National Avenue (Corner of National and Walton)
Storm drains carry pollutants and litter straight into our streams every time it rains, without filtration or cleaning. Remind your fellow Lexingtonians to respect our water by marking storm drains along National Avenue with the city’s “No Dumping – Drains to Stream” stencils. If you’ve always wanted to do a little graffiti for a good cause, this is your chance. Sign-in runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at the corner of National and Walton – stay as long as you like.

A free lunch, a behind-the-scenes tour, a 100 percent legal excuse to spray paint on the street…there’s a lot to love about Water Week. If you’re interested in representing your workplace at any of our Water Week events, all you need to do is email and let us know you’re coming. Water Week is designed for our LiveGreenLexington Partners, but these events are free and open to any Lexington business interested in becoming more sustainable (and saving a little money on water bills).

Beth Oleson is an Outreach Specialist with Bluegrass Greensource.

This article appeared in KY Forward on May 29, 2014.


Dive into Water Week with Live Green Lexington

UPDATE 5.28.14: 
Tuesday’s lunch and learn is filling up fast!  Please RSVP by 2:00pm on Friday, May 30th so that we can make sure you’ll have a lunch waiting for you.

Also, we would like to clarify that the stream clean-up on Thursday and the storm drain stenciling on Friday are rolling sign-in activities; come anytime between 2:00 and 3:30pm either day and stay as long as you like!  You are not obligated to participate for the full 2 hour period (although we’d be happy to have you if you did).

Grab your goggles, Live Green Lexington Partners, because we’re diving into Water Week on June 3rd!  The water stewardship season of this year’s Live Green Lexington Games runs through June 30th, so there’s still plenty of time to sign up and work on your scorecard; and if you’re getting a late start (or just really want that water stewardship award), Water Week is the perfect opportunity to earn a little extra credit.

Water Week 2014

Water quality and conservation issues are often overlooked in the workplace – especially for those of us who rent our offices and have little control over the big picture – but there are steps we can take to make a difference.  The goal of Water Week is to illuminate the many ways that we impact water quality and consumption, and the many ways we can make positive change without breaking the bank.

All of our Water Week activities are free and open to representatives of any Live Green Lexington partner business.  Email Beth for more info or to register for our Water Week activities, or to get involved in the Green Games…it’s not too late to sign up and take the Water Stewardship season by storm!