Industry Tour Series: VanLare wastewater treatment plant

Welcome back to our STEM Series:  Summer Teaching Institute Industry Tours.  In this series we are highlighting the local industries that welcomed our Summer Institute participants this summer.  Read more about the Summer Institute here.  This installment focuses on the VanLare Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The VanLare wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) is one of two WWTF’s in Monroe County and is the site responsible for treating the majority of the wastewater from Monroe County and surrounding areas. One big takeaway is the immediate need for trained operators. This is a great career option for students who are willing to work hard and get their hands dirty! Much of the current workforce entered back in the 1970s with the Clean Water Act, and they are nearing retirement.

Van Lare Wastewater Treatment Facility Photo by Democrat & Chronicle

Van Lare Wastewater Treatment Facility
Photo by: Democrat & Chronicle

People that are interested in this career field can enter with varying levels of education. The company provides licensing training to all employees. Another key takeaway is that there needs to be more education for the public about wastewater. They are very enthusiastic about having groups come to the facility for tours or having employees go to schools (or any other community organization). They were very supportive of providing us with any resources we would find helpful with creating lesson plans/projects for our classroom.

For more information, please contact the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services.

Gwen Scibienski teaches math at Pittsford Mendon High School. Caitlin Ullock teaches biology at Pittsford Mendon High School.  Both teachers participated in the Summer STEM Teaching Institute offered by the Finger Lakes STEM Hub.

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