Place/Change Final Project
A final compilation of the place and change component:
My project aimed to “make sewage visible” by spreading awareness about the importance of caring and maintaining the Pittsburgh sewage system.
Due to storm runoff, Pittsburgh’s sewage system continues to be overloaded and cause combined sewage overloads to hundreds of locations within Pittsburgh. This means that sewage and runoff water can enter your homes, land and rivers.
90% of our drinking water come from rivers that are dumping grounds for overflows. Since the majority of Pittsburgh residents get their water from local rivers, the flow of sewage into our rivers is a serious public health problem. Even though Pittsburgh has a water filtration system that cleans out river water before public consumption, if we can keep our water sources clean in the first place, it will make the filtration process that much better. That means better drinking water for you.
200 PWSA sewage pins were divided and distributed via five faucet sculptures that were temporarily attached to sewage manhole covers throughout the Pittsburgh region.
Inside the sculpture were cards directing the participant to dome quick facts, a PWSA sewer pin and the url to a website explaining more about the project, history of sewage in Pittsburgh and encouragement to post photos of themselves wearing their PWSA pins.
Not counting one sculpture that was removed by the public, a total of 59 cards were taken from these sculptures collectively. However, these sculptures were only installed for a few days so I believe that if the project were to continue, there would’ve been more people who would’ve interacted with it. Overall though, 59 people is still a considerable amount in terms of getting people to acknowledge something usually overlooked.
Things to Consider if Continued
I would like to continue this project if I had the support of a team. I realized throughout this project that there were many details I had to neglect because there wasn’t time and only one of me. At the very least, I wish I had someone to help with social media content and someone to help construct the actual sculptures. With that help, I think my project would have had more of an impact just from being able to reach out to more people.