CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Charleston Water System is giving customers a chance to get up close and personal with its operations through its annual Citizens Academy.

During the free, six-week program, customers will spend two hours a week exploring Charleston Water System’s core water and sewer functions including daily operational activities and potential challenges.

“This valuable program bolsters our connection to the community and gives our customers a unique opportunity to meet our staff and learn exactly what it takes to provide clean water and sewer services to nearly 500,000 people across the Lowcountry,” Mark Cline, CEO at CWS said. “Our team is passionate about customer education and exceeding expectations, which is why Academy participants have such a great time.”

Customers aged 18 and older can apply now through Aug. 31.

The following is a breakdown of the weekly sessions, provided by CWS:         

  • Tue., Sept. 13: Program kickoff, where your water comes from.              
  • Tue., Sept. 20: What’s in your water, how it’s treated, and facility tour.              
  • Tue., Sept. 27: How water gets to your home, water meters, dispatch, inventory, and facility tour.
  • Tue., Oct. 4: Sewers are fascinating and wastewater treatment is amazing!
  • Tue., Oct. 11: CEO for a Day: Wateropolis by Raftelis
  • Tue., Oct. 18: Customers are #1, competitive knowledge activity, graduation ceremony.

“Our inaugural class had a blast, made new friends, and graduated with a wealth of fascinating and practical knowledge,” Evelyn Ferguson, CWS director of customer service said. “We hope to create and sustain a diverse network of ambassadors who can also refer others to the Academy.”

A total of 40 customers will be accepted into the program which will run from Sept. 13 to Oct. 18. The utility said the greatest availability of class spots will be reserved for customers who are “capable of sharing information within their community, which maximizes the Academy’s reach.”

“We expect strong interest again this year because the community responded so well to our inaugural program,” Chris Hendricks, CWS assistant director of customer service said. “We made this year’s offering even better by listening to participant feedback and making every change requested such as increasing the duration of facility tours and open Q&A sessions.”

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by Sept. 2.

Click here to apply.