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Shades of Purple: a Student Art Contest

Why Purple?

Purple is the international color for water recycling. The Shades of Purple art contest is your chance to raise awareness about the many benefits of water recycling for Floridians.

Water recycling (also known as water reclamation or water reuse) is the process of capturing and cleaning water to be used again in our communities and our environment. In the past, all the water that went down our shower drains, sinks, and toilets — as well as the water that was used in businesses and factories — would flow to a wastewater treatment plant, where it was treated and sent out into a river, bay, or ocean. Now, we can use that water again for our daily needs! With a little extra cleaning, we can make the water safe and useful for all sorts of things like watering parks or fruit trees, running air conditioning, and much more. This “reclaimed water,” as we call it in Florida, is sent out to parks and buildings using special purple pipes so we can tell them apart from the other pipes. The same purple pipes can also carry that water to advanced purification facilities, where it is purified to make drinking water.

With the Shades of Purple art contest, you can bring attention to all the ways that water recycling can protect our environment and prepare us for a sustainable future.

Submit Your Art Today!

Deadline: January 10, 2025


High School

First Place
Second Place
Third Place

$175 gift certificate
$125 gift certificate
$75 gift certificate

Middle School

First Place
Second Place
Third Place

$100 gift certificate
$75 gift certificate
$50 gift certificate

Teacher Prizes

Teachers whose students submit winning artworks will also receive a gift certificate prize.

First Place (HS & MS)
Second Place (HS & MS)

$100 gift certificate
$50 gift certificate

Contest Guidelines

Create a piece of art that features the color purple and brings attention to the benefits of water recycling.

The Shades of Purple art contest is open for all educational disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art (Visual and Performance), Math, Language, History, and others in Florida.

Art entries can be visual: pictorial, graphic, sculptural (including 3D printed), 2D and 3D works of fine, graphic and applied art; or performing arts (time-based arts including music, poetry, dance or other videos). Multiple photographs of original artworks such as sculptures may be submitted to show different angles or views.

By submitting an entry and a permission form you will be agreeing to all requirements laid out below.


Get Inspired: What is Water Reuse?

For the purpose of this contest, water recycling or reuse refers to water that was once inside a building, before traveling down a drain such as a sink, shower drain, or toilet. That water travels through sewer pipes to a facility, usually maintained by a local water utility, where it is cleaned and reused. Stormwater (rain that is captured in drains on the side of the road) is not considered reuse because they are not cleaned or treated by water utilities at a treatment facility, they flow straight to a larger body of water like a bay or lake.

For inspiration, check out this Profile in Florida Water Reuse, try searching the internet for “Water reuse in Florida”, look for the purple pipes in your community, or contact your local water utility. Below you’ll find some inspiration created by Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Join WateReuse

WateReuse is the only trade association that focuses solely on advancing laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse. Our niche strategy sets us apart from other organizations in the water industry.

Join Today