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  • Sacramento Area Sewer District
  • Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District

7th Annual Access Sacramento High School PSA Project

Access Sacramento is in year three of a grant partnership from the Confluence Regional Partnership Program, funded by the Sacramento Area Sewer District and Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District. As part of this grant, students enrolled in high school media production classes in Sacramento County are invited to produce 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) on selected topics from the Sacramento Area Sewer District and Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District.

Access Sacramento is proud to provide a Linked Learning opportunity for high school media production classes in Sacramento County to work with an industry partner. Students are given an opportunity to create a PSA for a local nonprofit or governmental agency. These organizations will then select as many of the PSAs as they like for cablecast on Access Sacramento. Selected PSAs will receive an Award of Excellence certificate from Access Sacramento. The clients will judge all of those selected and award cash prizes to the top six PSAs.    

PURPOSE: This is an opportunity to provide video production and animation students real-world experience in creating public service announcements for real clients. High school students will develop 30-second videos to communicate information requested by a client. Client-selected PSAs will air on Access Sacramento and will be used as part of the clients’ social media outreach and/or website use.

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS:  This project is open to any student enrolled in an animation or video production class in a high school located in Sacramento County.           


A printed Certificate of Excellence for each of the filmmakers of the PSAs recommended for cablecast on Access Sacramento. (This selection is made by the clients.)

Animated PSA

  • $300.00 - 1st Place Animation 
  • $250.00 - 2nd Place Animation
  • $200.00 - 3rd Place Animation

Live Action PSA

  • $300.00 - 1st Place Live Action
  • $250.00 - 2nd Place Live Action
  • $200.00 - 3rd Place Live Action 

Honorable Mentions

  • $ 50.00 - Four Honorable Mentions (Animation or Live Action)

Additional Awards

  • Additional Award of Merit certificates could also be awarded at the judges’ discretion, without a cash prize.

Teacher Awards

  • Top four teachers who submit the highest number of PSAs will receive an Amazon gift card of $100.00.

The winning PSAs (a minimum of ten), could then be featured on Access Sacramento and used in the social media outreach of the two clients. Access Sacramento will recognize the top winners on an episode of Live Wire, a locally produced news and events show.


Respond to invitation to participate by October 1, 2020

Introduce PSA unit to students. (Start no later than mid-February 2021.

Students can work individually or in groups of up to three receiving “producer” credit.

Collect the Talent Release Form from each person appearing in the video and the Project Forms from the producers. You must keep these on file, do not send them to the coordinator.  They will only be requested in the event of an issue.

Either the teacher or the students can upload the video files to YouTube. See that YouTube links of each video submitted for consideration and judging are sent to the coordinator by March 6, 2021


Select an organization—the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District or the Sacramento Area Sewer District and read the content criteria carefully. Develop a creative production that meets the client’s needs.

This can be done as an individual project or as part of producer group of up to three. You can   include as many people as you need on screen.

Make sure the PSA is exactly 30 seconds long. Do not include credits.

Give your PSA a unique name (not just “Sewer PSA”). The title does not need to appear in the actual PSA. It is just for reference.

Complete the Project Release Form. Obtain all needed signatures. 

Submit the PSA by the deadline set by your teacher. (No later than March 6,2020)

Make sure Talent Release Form is signed by everyone who appears on camera

Make sure the Project Release Form is completed with all needed signatures.  

Export the file as HD, if it was shot that way.

Name the exported file with the client name, one producer’s last name and the high school you are from.

  • EXAMPLE:  Smith_Franklin.mp4

If there is more than one producer, list each last name, up to a maximum of three:

  • EXAMPLE:  Martinez_Jones_Nguyen_Center.m4v

Make sure your PSA is uploaded to YouTube. Either your teacher will do this or your teacher will ask you to do it and provide the link. Include the credits in the details field on YouTube. List the full names of the producers. If you use music under the Creative Commons license, you may also credit it in the details field. DO NOT set the video to PRIVATE, you may use UNLISTED. 


If you include any copyrighted materials, your entry must obtain PERMISSION WAIVERS or Creative Commons Licensing obtained from their sources. All videos, photos, and music must be original OR proof of permission to use the copyrighted elements must be obtained. Videos that contain unauthorized copyrighted elements will be disqualified. Note: You are permitted and expected to use the client’s logo.  


If you use music under a Creative Commons license, you may credit the music in very small type for a few frames at the bottom of the screen within the final moments of your PSA. Additionally, you may also credit it within the PSA’s YouTube description.


Student producers must obtain release forms for any minors or adults appearing in the production. The forms are not collected by Access Sacramento, but the sponsoring teacher must confirm that the forms are on file. Up to three producer names can be listed on a project.


  • March 5, 2021 : YouTube links of videos submitted for consideration are sent to the coordinator.
  • March 24, 2021 : Access Sacramento selects winners, prints and mails certificates and student checks to appropriate schools. Release news bulletin about results.
  • April 7, 2021 : Access Sacramento live TV appearance on LiveWire! for the top six PSAs.


  • Message Effectiveness: (Message aligned with client’s needs; evokes a response in the viewer.) 40%
  • Creativity: (Idea or approach is fresh and engaging) 20%
  • Aesthetics: (Attention to composition, lighting) 20%
  • Sound: (Narration and/or dialog is clear; Music (if any) set the appropriate emotional response; Audio levels are appropriate) 20%; Music, if any, is used legally.

2020-2021 CLIENTS/Topics

Read below to get the information on the 2020-2021 Clients/Topics

Sacramento Area Sewer District - SASD

Click here for the full size image to use at the end of your project.

Client: Sacramento Area Sewer District - SASD

The Sacramento Area Sewer District (SASD) is a sewer utility providing sewage collection service to more than one million people in the Sacramento region, including the unincorporated areas of Sacramento County; the cities of Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, and Elk Grove; as well as portions of the cities of Folsom and Sacramento. SASD serves residents and businesses throughout the region.

SASD owns and operates 4,400 miles of sewer pipes. That’s equivalent to the mileage it would take to drive from Sacramento to Chicago and back! SASD is responsible for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of these sewer pipes, as well as more than 100 pump stations that ensure the proper flow from homes and businesses.

SASD provides a critical public service, one that people don’t often think about but would have a hard time living without. SASD is the largest sewage collection utility in the Sacramento region and the third largest in the state of California. SASD staff works around the clock, every day of the year to make sure their customers don’t have to worry about their sewer service.

Resources: and

SASD is interested in developing public awareness in any one of the following three topic areas.

Topic/Key Message: Sewer Problems? Call SASD First!

Focus: At SASD, we like it when our customers don’t have to think twice about the public sewer system. We're the region's largest sewage collection utility, and our job is to get to your sewer problem before it interrupts your life. For us, providing excellent service isn’t optional—it’s our number one priority.

When SASD’s customers have a sewer problem (e.g., backup, overflow, slow drain, etc.), they should call us first—day or night—at (916) 875-6730. Our crews respond to sewer problems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year—including weekends and holidays. Our crews will determine if the problem is our responsibility or the customer’s to fix (learn more at SASD vs. customer responsibility). If it is SASD’s responsibility, we will correct the problem. If it is not, we will advise the customer on what to do next (e.g., call a plumber). Even if the problem is in the customer’s portion of the line, our service calls carry no additional cost to the customer. They are covered by the monthly sewer rates customers pay.

Commonly used tagline: It's a dirty job, but we're happy to do it!


Topic/Key Message: No Wipes in the Pipes

Focus: Wipes, rags, paper towels, and other inappropriate materials are being flushed into the sewer system, causing serious problems for SASD’s equipment and maintenance crews. People should flush only toilet paper and human waste—nothing else.

Why are wipes such a big problem? Disposable disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, and even so-called “flushable” wipes are causing problems for sewer systems around the world. These products do not break down easily (or at all) once they are flushed. They often clog our pipes and jam our pumps, causing costly and messy sewer blockages and overflows. In areas where wipes and other materials are flushed regularly, increased monitoring, maintenance, and repair is often necessary. This results in higher operational costs, which are paid for by customers’ sewer rates. Bottom line: People who use wipes should put them in the trash, not in the toilet.

Commonly used tagline: Do the sewers a favor—when using wipes, trash ‘em, don’t flush ‘em.


Topic/Key Message: Stop the Clog

Focus: Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) that find their way down the drain create a huge problem for sewer pipes. In fact, FOG combined with roots in the sewer system can create massive clogs that cause more than half of SASD’s sewer backups and overflows! This can result in costly cleanup and repairs, as well as harmful environmental impacts.

The Stop the Clog program engages residential customers, property managers, and the food service industry to promote proper disposal of FOG.

What is the source of the problem? The majority of sewer backups and overflows caused by FOG originate in residential areas. Some common sources of FOG include the following:

  • Meat
  • Fatty food scraps
  • Lard
  • Salad dressings
  • Creamy or oily sauces
  • Marinades
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Shortening
  • Butter or margarine
  • Peanut butter

You can help prevent clogs by learning about proper disposal. Keep your pipes flowing by following three simple steps in the kitchen:

Can it: Once cooled, pour leftover oils and grease into a sturdy container.

Scrape it: Before washing, scrape out fats, oils and grease from pots and pans.

Trash it: Put fatty and greasy food scraps in the garbage, not down the drain.

Resources: and

(As an example, see this past winning FOG PSA)

This is a professionally produced PSA commissioned by SASD.

The Sacramento Area Sewer District PSAs should end with the SASD logo and the closing line: “Learn more at”

CLIENT: Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District

Click here for the image to use at the end of your project.

CLIENT: Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San) owns and operates part of the wastewater conveyance system and the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant located near Elk Grove, California. They serve residents and businesses throughout unincorporated Sacramento County; the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Sacramento, and West Sacramento; and the communities of Courtland and Walnut Grove. In total, Regional San serves a population of about 1.4 million people throughout the greater Sacramento region.

Wastewater is collected from customers’ homes and businesses via smaller collection pipes. These smaller pipes are operated by one of four local sewer agencies and connect to Regional San’s network of 169 miles of interceptor pipes. Interceptor pipes are much larger—up to 144” in diameter—and carry the wastewater to the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. There, approximately 130 million gallons of wastewater are treated each day.

Topic/Key Message: Don’t Flush Your Meds!

To prevent misuse and keep medications from entering our waterways, please dispose of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications responsibly. Flushing unused or expired medications down the sink or toilet can pollute the environment.

Proper disposal is easy!

Check for local disposal locations near you.

Check for local take-back events.

Check with your local pharmacy.

Check with a nearby household hazardous waste facility.

Learn more about these options at


Topic/Key Message: Give Your House a Mercury Makeover!

Mercury can be found in many common household products, such as fluorescent bulbs, silver thermometers, and older wall thermostats. If mishandled, these items can break, spilling mercury and releasing an invisible poisonous vapor that is harmful to human health.

Take a few minutes to learn how you can make your home mercury free!

  • Keep fluorescent bulbs and other products that contain mercury out of the household trash, where they can break and release harmful mercury.
  • Bring fluorescent light bulbs, old thermostats, silver thermometers, and other mercury-containing products to a certified disposal facility or recycling program.
  • Many retailers will now accept used compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for recycling, so ask your local home improvement center.
  • Replace old silver fever thermometers that contain mercury with safe digital thermometers. If you have one that contains mercury, recycle it properly.
  • Consider replacing your old mercury-containing thermostat with a programmable electronic thermostat, which does not contain mercury and is more energy efficient.


The Regional San PSAs should end with the Regional San logo and the closing line: “Learn more at”

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can a student enter more than one video?   
Answer: No, you can only submit one entry with your name as a producer.     

Question: Can I contact the client and ask questions about my PSA idea.    
Answer: No. Because of the number of students participating, we do not want to burden them with inquiries. The materials on this website should give you a clear idea of what the client wants. If you need additional directions, ask your teacher.    

Question: Is the PSA running time flexible?  
Answer: No.  It must be exactly 30 seconds including a fade in/out.  

Question:  Do I put credits on it?  
Answer:  No. Like commercials, PSAs do not feature credits. If you need to include music credits as dictated by a Creative Commons license, then add that in a very small text at the bottom of the required graphic  .

Question: Can I put my favorite pop song in my PSA.    
Answer: No. You must follow the copyright law. Any music or sound effects must be used properly licensed. 

Question:  I still have questions.
Answer:  Students with additional questions should ask their teacher.  Teachers with questions can contact PSA Project coordinator Brad Clark at bnclark (at sign) or Gary Martin, Executive Director, Access Sacramento at

Students with additional questions should ask their teacher. Teachers with questions can contact PSA Project Coordinator Brad Clark at or Gary Martin, Executive Director of Access Sacramento, at