In 2008, the Water Quality Division secured an $8 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) grant to deploy and evaluate new high technology equipment that monitors for potential contaminants at key locations in the water system. As part of this grant, we launched a bold, but simple public education campaign on to promote one consistent, basic message, “dial 311 to report water quality issues.”
The public education portion of the USEPA grant ($192,000) is only a small component of a much larger program that serves to inform San Francisco water drinkers that 311 is the formal mechanism to report water quality issues. By funneling calls into a centralized location with a centralized data repository, we will be able to provide better customer service, track complaints, respond deftly to any water quality issues and enhance water monitoring and security.
This 5-month public education campaign features multilingual ads in a variety of neighborhood, community and print publication as well as outdoor advertising on poster-sized billboards and MUNI buses. We also promote this campaign on social media outlets, like Twitter and Facebook and through a series of commercials on cable television.
No San Francisco ratepayer dollars or San Francisco taxpayer dollars are utilized to fund advertisement purchases.