Felicia Graham First STEMM Speaker

Environmental Compliance Coordinator for the City of Dayton Water Department and CJ alumna Felicia Graham, ’86, presented to students about the importance of keeping our water clean in the CIL Tuesday as part of the CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series.

Graham, who oversees compliance with the city’s Storm Water Permit, discussed things including how a large underground aquifer provides citizens of the city and Montgomery County drinking water. She also discussed how littering and dumping of hazardous material can result in polluting rivers due to the catch basins which send storm water to drain into natural bodies of water including Wolf Creek and the Great Miami, Mad and Stillwater Rivers.

Additionally, Graham handed out plastic drinking cups to students for use in place of disposable plastic bottles in support of the city’s Take Back the Tap Campaign. The campaign is aimed at encouraging people to drink more tap water thereby decreasing the number of plastic bottles in landfills.

“Tap water is less than a penny per gallon and we have excellent tap water here in Dayton,” Graham said.  Not only is tap water less expensive than bottled, she also pointed out that about 24 percent of bottled water comes from the tap. “It is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to get your water.”

Campaigns like Take Back the Tap are just some of the ways in which the Water Department informs the public of environmentally safe water pracitces.  Graham also posts signs on catch basins prohibiting dumping, hangs informational flyers on doors, and coordinates the Children's Water Festival in May.  The festival, held at the University of Dayton, consists of a science workshop hosting 1,500 fourth graders from Greene and Montgomery counties.  Over 500 volunteers from the city and community support the one-day event.