November 22, 2012

Earth Science: Water and Water Purification Part Two

We started our science instruction on Wednesday by reading The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks  by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen.  I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone how great Magic School Bus books are.  We love them around here.
After reading the book we went on a field trip to the Weber Basin Water Conservation District.  Otherwise known as the water treatment plant.  It was awesome!!  We enjoyed the company of other homeschool families and we thoroughly enjoyed learning about how our water is processed and prepared for use.  (Lady Harriet and Eli played at a friend's home since I have a hard time packing our lady--she's heavy.)
 The first building contained all the chemicals.  They make their own chlorine at the plant in that big vat/container/thingy that Miriam is standing by.  I thought that was interesting.

 Our tour guide was very nice, informative, and patient.  All good qualities for a guide of small children to have.

 Here the guide is showing samples of different things that can be in water that you don't want in water that you drink.

 Here he is showing us different germs that live in un-purified water.
 After the chemicals building we went outside where there are large reservoirs of water.  The water closest to the chemicals building had all this gunk floating on it.  The farther you walked the cleaner the water looked because the heavy clumps of mud and gunk sink to the bottom.

 At the end of the reservoirs is a little waterfall.  The highest water is the cleanest.

 Here's an empty reservoir where you can see the mechanism that pushes all the sludge out.  The walls are made of redwood.  According to the guide redwood holds up beautifully and doesn't rust like metal.  Who wood have guessed?  (I realize I'm only amusing to myself.)
 This is the second building.  The top floor contains water being sifted through several layers of sediment to get out more impurities.
 The tour guide, Kevin, by a model of the layers the water sifts through.
 The basement of that building is really cool--literally and figuratively.
 Here is where they add the chlorine and pump all the water used by employees of the plant.
 And here is where they do the last step--add ultraviolet light. Who knew?  Oh wait, my hubby did.  I didn't.  My kids and I thought that part was extra cool as it wasn't in any of the books we had read.

During the summer the plant sends through 40 million gallons a day and it gets used each day.  That's a lot of water!

What a fun field trip!!  I highly recommend that you go to your local water treatment facility and get a tour.  We had a great time!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds really fun! We read that same book during our water unit, but we'd love to tour our treatment facility! I'll have to look into that.