Sunday, November 6, 2011

#307 - Water Treatment Plant Field Trip

I'll eventually get caught up with my P365...maybe. :)

Last week we went with our homeschool co-op group to our local water treatment facility. Anna is taking a chemistry class and one of her teachers set it up for us. It was very interesting and we learned a lot.
I'm going to share what I remember about the process, just so we'll have something to look back on and review. Just bear with me. :)

Our city gets it's water from a lake reservoir that is pumped into another spring fed reservoir, that eventually ends up at the treatment plant. The picture I took from the first room/stage it comes into had some kiddos from our co-op in it and I didn't want to post without permission. But just imagine a room with two HUGE tanks :)

At that step they add chlorine and some other chemicals to the water to make the organics all clump (technical term: coagulate:) together. The above ^ picture is what the water looks like with all of the "organics" rising to the top. The organics included leaves, dirt, fish particles, etc. Swimming is not allowed in the reservoirs and there are no streams leading into it, so it is truly clean(ish) water when it gets to the treatment plant.

The men that work there and gave us the tour called this nice stuff - "sludge!" In the picture above, that top layer of sludge is being poured off of the water.

Then the water is transferred into several different tanks where it goes through another filtration process. It is pushed down through several layers of charcoal/sand/etc? to be cleaned.

While we were there these cleaning tanks were getting backwashed. Kind of like when you backwash a swimming pool pump. I think they said that each tank gets backwashed every 48-52 hours.
These pumps were at the bottom of those filtration tanks. There the water was pumped into water lines that infused more chemicals and sanitized it. From there it was pumped into a huge underground pump up on top of a mountain beside the plant. Then it will eventually end up at our house! We normally buy water bottles and even after knowing all of the steps they carefully take to insure our drinking water is safe.......I'll probably still buy our drinking water!
After our tour was over we walked down to the sludge ponds.
This is the stuff that was poured off of the top in that first picture. :) These are holding ponds that get emptied every so often by someone that comes in and pumps it to a farm. Believe it or not there is some great nutrients in that sLuDge! The trees were still pretty and if you didn't know any better you'd think this was taken at a pretty lake and not at a holding pond for this stuff......
It was a great day and we were excited that Brian got to go along with us!

Very interesting to know that all of the water that was created @6000 years ago on this earth is the water that we use today. It is always going through the water cycle.

Genesis 1:1-10
The History of Creation
"1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”
7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good."

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