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SFPUC and California Academy of Sciences Launch The Story of Poo
Animated video teaches kids about the City’s sewer system
Posted Date: 9/25/2018 11:00 AM
San Francisco, CA—When you flush the toilet, what happens to the pee, poo and toilet paper? The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and California Academy of Sciences helped to answer this question by launching The Story of Poo, an educational, animated video created to teach elementary school students about San Francisco’s sewer system. 
“Our agency looks for new and innovative ways to teach youth about our systems, and how they can make sustainable choices at home, school, and as they move through the world,” said Blair Randall, the SFPUC’s Arts and Education Manager. “With The Story of Poo, we’re introducing our City’s youngest residents to our combined sewer system with a fun, age-appropriate video to help them understand the upgrades we are making to our sewer infrastructure to support future generations.”
Narrated by a six-year-old girl, The Story of Poo follows her reflections from a recent field trip to the Southeast Treatment Plant (SEP), where 80 percent of the City’s wastewater is treated. The video captures the girl’s excitement as she explains the wastewater process-—the journey which begins with flushing the toilet, being treated at the SEP and the final discharge into the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean. Through her perspective, young viewers also learn the importance of keeping sewer pipes clean and protecting our environment and health by only flushing the “3 P’s”—pee, poop and toilet paper. 
“Utilities are crucially important to healthy, sustainable cities,” said Elizabeth C. Babcock, Ph.D., Chief Public Engagement Officer, California Academy of Sciences. “The Story of Poo translates the SFPUC’s forward-thinking environmental designs for waste treatment into a fun, practical tool for youth and educators. Our hope for this project is that every young person in San Francisco has the knowledge and inspiration to help keep our water systems healthy through their daily choices.” 

Young residents can visit The Story of Poo page to watch the video, access supporting educational materials and learn more about the SFPUC’s sewer system. Additionally, the SFPUC Wastewater Treatment Plant Tours offers opportunities for school field trips or general tours of the agency’s Southeast Wastewater and Oceanside Wastewater Treatment plants. 

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission 

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at

About the California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and education—all under one living roof. Learn more at