• Introducing Crystal Clean, our Clean Water Drop Mascot

Baldwin County Sewer Service (BCSS) has a new addition to their family, but she’s not a typical new employee. She’s a lot taller, larger and actually…blue. She’s the new Clean Water Drop Mascot, who after careful consideration, was recently given her name, Crystal Clean, aka CC. BCSS held a Naming Contest for three months, advertising the contest throughout local schools, on our web site and at community events. Hundreds of children from several different schools were very excited to choose their name for the big water drop, especially since the winner would be awarded $50 cash, and his or her school would be granted $500 to be used towards educational supplies and equipment. Their enthusiasm was evident in the numerous decorated mascot coloring sheets that complemented many entries. “We narrowed down over 750 entries to a handful of names that were all catchy and reflected the mascot’s image and meaning. We finally decided on Crystal Clean since it is simple, friendly and best represents the mascot’s purpose,” says Jenny Williams, Marketing Director. The special student who came up with this great name is Caroline Nickelson, an eight year-old at St. Benedict Catholic School in Elberta. “I choose Crystal Clean because the water is clean, and I couldn’t see anything in it. It can be clear like a diamond, but I picked Crystal over Diamond so that the initials would be CC,” Caroline explained. Caroline was thrilled to meet CC during St. Benedict’s Awards Ceremony on May 30 when she was recognized in front of the whole school for her achievement while being rewarded by BCSS. Principal Jaivi Howell was also excited and appreciative that the school was presented with a $500 check, as there is always a need to replenish supplies.

The mascot isn’t just any water drop as it represents a clean water drop, meaning it is wastewater that has been “cleaned” or treated after being sent to a wastewater treatment plant. Since most people don’t think much about what happens to water once it’s sent down the drains, BCSS created the company mascot as a fun way to get people’s attention and reveal their primary messages to customers and the community. It mainly gets kids’ attention, of course, but that’s great in itself since they absolutely love the big cheerful character. “Generally, we hope more people will realize and value the crucial services we provide throughout Baldwin County, as it’s a long process to transport wastewater from homes and businesses to one of our three treatment plants, treat all of the waste, and after meeting strict ecological standards, return it to the environment,” Jenny Williams stated.

Baldwin County Sewer Service has been very busy in the community, especially this Spring with the initiation of school presentations and an increased focus on environmental outreach, trying to help improve water quality. “We are involved in a variety of charitable functions throughout Baldwin County. Since our service territory is so expansive, we try our best to help all of the communities in the area. Some of the events we’ve participated in so far this year are Foley’s BBQ & Blues Fest, the Strawberry Festival, several environmental functions, such as Earth Day Mobile Bay, Weeks Bay Area River Cleanup and the Delta Woods and Water Expo,” Jenny communicated. With Crystal Clean’s assistance, Jenny has presented a few fun wastewater lessons to different local schools, has some upcoming demonstrations planned for the summer, and hopes to be more involved during the next school year. The primary goals are to raise awareness with the children on items they shouldn’t put down the toilets and drains, the negative effects all the bad things that enter sewer system can have on our health and environment, and also, just what happens to water once they flush the toilet or wash their hands, etc. so they pay more attention and hopefully pass the information on to their parents.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill certainly enhanced water quality awareness, but without a major tragedy fresh on everyone’s minds, people tend to forget all the little things they can do to help protect the environment and our waterways. BCSS doing their part to make an impact on the community with regards to keeping our waterways clean, along with other local utilities and environmental organizations, and they welcome opportunities to partner more with utilities and groups in spreading the word. They recently joined Perdido Bay Water and Alabama Rural Water Association (ARWA) at Elberta Elementary School for the Elberta Water Carnival, which was a day filled with various interactive activities for third graders where they learned a lot about the water cycle, conserving water and preventing pollution. Especially since we live in an area where we can easily enjoy fishing, open water swimming and the like, we should do everything we can to safeguard our rich natural resources so we’ll continue to experience them. All it takes is a little extra thought and effort; whether it is cutting back shower time or pouring leftover cooking oils in a sealed container instead of down the sink.

Baldwin County Sewer Service is also enjoying and learning from these programs, as they receive feedback that helps improve the programs and the company as a whole. If you have any questions for BCSS or would like to find out more about their wastewater lessons and field trip opportunities, please contact Jenny Williams at (251) 971-1516.