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Forget the environment -- you're in the public-health business

Wastewater treatment gets no respect in America, and the biggest problem is that we keep on treating it as a matter for the environment. It's not. The only thing that matters is public health.

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Forget the environment -- you're in the public-health business

  1. 1. Forget the Environment: We're in the Public Health Business Brian Gongol DJ Gongol & Associates, Inc. February 18, 2020 DMACC Ankeny, Iowa
  2. 2. "What do you do for a living?"
  3. 3. Evil wingman: "He sells s#!+ pumps"
  4. 4. Proud parent: "He works in public health"
  5. 5. Do you really like working in waste treatment?
  6. 6. Framing matters
  7. 7. The Ned Flanders approach <falling off ladder> "Oh, blood!"
  8. 8. The Ned Flanders approach "She's full of Pepsi and vinegar!"
  9. 9. The Ned Flanders approach "That salesman is full of motor oil."
  10. 10. Conclusion of the Ned Flanders test? We are in perhaps the only business where people talk about the inputs every day, but nobody ever stops to think about the product
  11. 11. The mission matters: Read "Built to Last"
  12. 12. The great misdirection
  13. 13. "Environment" sells us short
  14. 14. It's nice, but nobody really pays for it $
  15. 15. Nature adapts to nutrients
  16. 16. The environment isn't our client The public is.
  17. 17. If people matter most, we're in public health
  18. 18. What brought down the "Occupy" movement?
  19. 19. What brought down the "Occupy" movement? Toilets and showers (or, rather, the lack thereof)
  20. 20. Don't know what you got till you go abroad
  21. 21. What did you bring home from your trip?
  22. 22. Our rivals aren't who we think they are
  23. 23. Rival #1: Complacency
  24. 24. Rival #2: "Roads and bridges"
  25. 25. Rival #3: Government get-rich-quick schemes
  26. 26. Rival #4: Cheap and dirty The throwaway solution is usually a trap set for those who don't realize they're really buying a long-term contract with an abusive supplier
  27. 27. Rival #5: Bottled water
  28. 28. The paradox of bottled water The public values water quite highly until they get it almost for free
  29. 29. Time and opportunity are both running out
  30. 30. Worry about: Interest rates
  31. 31. Worry about: Shrinking communities
  32. 32. Worry about: Deteriorating infrastructure
  33. 33. When to speak up
  34. 34. When to show up and be seen
  35. 35. From wastewater treatment to public health
  36. 36. It's like three 747s crashing every day
  37. 37. It's like three 747s crashing every day "Poor sanitation, which is widely accepted as a chief contributor to waterborne diseases, is the cause of more than 1,200 deaths of children under five-years-old per day, more than AIDS, measles, and tuberculosis combined." - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  38. 38. Don't want no scrubs
  39. 39. Don't want no scrubs Blood stain on a pair of scrubs  Perception: Doctor, nurse, surgeon, PA, EMT, paramedic  Reaction: Instant respect  "They might have saved a life today"
  40. 40. Don't want no scrubs Blood stain on a pair of scrubs  Perception: Doctor, nurse, surgeon, PA, EMT, paramedic  Reaction: Instant respect  "They might have saved a life today" Grease stain on a pair of coveralls  Perception: Dirty, hands- on work  Reaction: Indifference  Actually prevented typhoid, cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis today
  41. 41. Don't want no scrubs Water and wastewater operators should wear scrubs to work
  42. 42. Changing minds one-on-one
  43. 43. Reaching out to the public
  44. 44. Changing our self-talk
  45. 45. Do words matter?
  46. 46. You've seen this message before
  47. 47. Did you notice the hidden message?
  48. 48. How does the alcohol business frame it now?
  49. 49. Now that's really spinning it
  50. 50. We don't need more euphemisms
  51. 51. But we do need a sense of mission
  52. 52. The great WWTP vs WRF debate
  53. 53. What if we went further? Waste Water Treatment Plant
  54. 54. WWTP v.2.0 Waste Water Treatment Park
  55. 55. WWTP v.2.1 Waste Water Technology Park
  56. 56. WWTP v.2.2 Waste Water Transformation Park
  57. 57. WWTP v.2.3 Water Wellness Transformation Park
  58. 58. "Helping the environment"
  59. 59. "Helping the environment" No, you're not. You're protecting people.
  60. 60. Protecting public health Protecting public health so you can enjoy the privilege of civilization
  61. 61. Questions? Thank you for your time and attention! Call, email, or follow up anytime with questions or comments.  Brian Gongol DJ Gongol & Associates  515-223-4144   @djgongol on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
  62. 62. Sources  Unless otherwise noted, all images are original work of the author and copyright is reserved  Cover art for "Built to Last" utilized under fair use. Obtained from  WEF mission statement retrieved from homepage on Sept. 3, 2019:  Vehicle sales graph from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis "FRED" Economic Data:  Federal funds rate graph from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis "FRED" Economic Data:  Marines recruitment poster obtained from the public domain:  Photo of Harry Truman obtained from Library of Congress with copyright expired:  Iowa population data retrieved from Iowa Data Center:  Mortality estimate from inadequate sanitation: hygiene