Never ever.

Clueless Dad: Honey? Kids? Get yourselves spiffied up. We’re having a family outing!!!

Clueless Mom: We are? Where are we going? Should I wear earrings?

Clueless Kids: YAY!!!!! Are we going to Kennywood? Idlewild? Sandcastle? The zoo?

Clueless Dad: Nope. None of those.

Clueless Kids: Will there be games where we’re going?

Dad: You betcha, kiddos!

Kids: Ice cream and balloons?

Dad: Absolutely!

Kids: Games and prizes?

Dad: Yep!

Kids: YAY! Where are we going?!

Dad: The sewer plant! Now let’s get going so we can get there in time for the tour of the 56 acre wastewater treatment facility! Yay! Give me a W! Give me an A! Give me an S! Give me a T! Give me an E! What’s that spell?!

You cannot be serious.

Alcosan held its fourth annual open house at its Marshall-Shadeland headquarters on Saturday, essentially a family-oriented science carnival at a sewage plant. About 1,775 people attended Saturday’s event.

I am not so much flabbergasted that there is such a thing as a Sewage Plant Open House. I’m more flabbergasted that there are more than twenty people on earth that would go to a Sewage Plant Open House on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

The only way I would go to a Sewage Plant Open House is NEVER! NEVER EVER EVER, you hear me? Not even for David Conrad!

Oh, who am I kidding.

David Conrad could call me and say, “PittGirl, do you want to go to the Sewage Plant Open House with me?” and I’d be all, “Do I need to bring my own surgical mask or can I just buy one there?”

(h/t DW)


  1. chrys
    September 24, 2007 12:07 pm

    LOL!! There is no way I would visit there either.. the smell…blech…

  2. Denise
    September 24, 2007 12:12 pm

    Now that is some good, clean(?) family fun…ha!!
    But for David…I would be there with bells on (oh, and a respirator)..

  3. The Bag of Health and Politics
    September 24, 2007 12:15 pm

    There is pretty solid research that suggests that exposure to feces (specifically cow feces, but I suppose it could be any feces) as a child reduces the chances that a person will develop Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. In some ways, exposing the body to bacteria isn’t that bad of an idea. It keeps the immune system busy, and keeps it from destroying healthy tissue. Being that I have Crohn’s, I wish that my parents had taken me to the sewage open house. It couldn’t hurt, and it might’ve helped.

  4. Pensgirl
    September 24, 2007 12:24 pm

    Here in Baltimore they actually have a Public Works museum. So, if you’re dying to attend the Sewage Open House, but can’t quite muster up the courage, you could come here instead.

    I bet it’s cheaper than the Aquarium.

  5. Bram R
    September 24, 2007 2:10 pm

    I don’t know about the younger kids, but for the slightly older ones: would you like to make hundreds of thousands of dollars? Would you like cities and states and regions to compete over hiring you? Get into sewage engineering and water treatment. Huge growth field. Heck, you’ll even be able to find jobs in Pittsburgh if that’s a priority.

  6. I went to the ALCOSAN open house
    September 24, 2007 3:06 pm

    You would be surprised at how much fun my two grade-school aged sons had looking at the robots, walking through the simulated sewer tunnel, seeing the living micro-organisms through a microscope, seeing how many species of fish occupy our rivers, and learning exactly “where it all goes” when you pour something down the drain – especially the impact of pollutants on the environment.

    Of course, the fun was not without standard-issue questions such as “Does it always smell bad like this down here?”

  7. philly cheeseburgher
    September 24, 2007 3:08 pm

    When I was in elementary school….we went to ALCOSAN on a field trip. I am 30 years old, and still remember that like it was yesterday. UGH!

  8. DW
    September 24, 2007 3:34 pm

    I like the fact they served food and drink…bet everyone was in an eating mood.

  9. MoreRoth,LessBurger
    September 25, 2007 10:34 am

    My dad used to build those for a living…so yes, I would go. (He did one at Kennywood in the ’60’s – I’m sure it’s been updated since then!)

    I spent almost every weekend as a child driving around western PA looking at sewage treatment plants.

    That smell?
    Smells like tuition, room and board to me! Thanks Dad!!!

  10. Nancy
    September 25, 2007 8:55 pm

    I planned the event and the best part of my job is watching everyone’s faces when they come in. They think they will see, um, feces and smell, um, feces. Imagine their surprise when neither occurs. It is more like a watershed/environemntal fair. They teach wastewater education in schools now. I hereby nominate Pitt Girl as honorary tour guide next year!

  11. DW
    September 26, 2007 1:09 pm

    I second the nomination, Nancy :)