Previously, Goldstreet Designs had the privilege of working with Tracy with the City of Redding on the creation of a double-sided door hanger designed to raise awareness of flushing safety, and what not to flush down the toilet. Recently, these public outreach materials proved valuable as the outbreak of COVID-19 caused panic among shoppers, leading to toilet paper shortages nationwide.
The lack of toilet paper has caused consumers to turn to alternative paper products such as paper towels, wet wipes, and in one case, shredded t-shirt material, which resulted in a clogged sewer line at a lift station in Redding, CA. Wastewater workers responded immediately, helping to prevent a dangerous sewage spill, while City officials placed the door hangers on resident’s homes, reminding them of the dangers of non-flushable materials. The story quickly drew media attention and was covered in a national news story highlighting the use of the door hangers to emphasize the importance of not flushing improper materials down the toilet. The article also provided images of the print graphics themselves, helping to further raise awareness to readers throughout the U.S.
Nationwide, local utilities have been on high-alert trying to quickly create and distribute informational materials warning residents of the dangers of flushing non-flushable items, but the City of Redding was already prepared, says Tracy, who notes “Having pre-printed materials on our shelves ahead of time was extremely important. In a sewer crisis/overflow situation, sewer departments do not have the luxury of time to develop educational materials and have them printed. We were prepared for this type of public outreach and response to a sewer backup because we planned ahead and had the public education materials available at our office.”
While the Coronavirus disease and toilet paper shortages could not have been anticipated, The City of Redding’s proactive approach to educating residents on an already growing problem allowed them to preempt it during an unprecedented time of crisis.