‘The Story of Poo’ explains City’s sewer system


San Francisco school kids will get an inside look into the city’s sewer system through an animated educational video created by the city’s public utilities commission and the California Academy of Sciences.

The Story of Poo, a short video about a 6-year-old girl’s visit to the Southeast Treatment Plant, was created to teach elementary school students about what happens to human waste after it’s flushed down the toilet, commission officials said Tuesday.

Blair Randall, arts and education manager with the SFPUC, said in a statement:

“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 throughout the world … 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.”

With the video, students will get to see how wastewater is treated, from the first initial toilet flush, to its treatment at the Southeast Treatment Plant – where 80 percent of the city’s wastewater is treated – to its final discharge into the Bay.

The video also teaches children the importance of keeping sewer pipes clean by introducing the three Ps — pee, poop and toilet paper – the only things that should be flushed down the toilet.

Elizabeth Babcock, chief public engagement officer for the California Academy of Sciences, said in a statement:

“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.”

To watch The Story of Poo and for more information about the educational project, residents can visit

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