Library, Colorado Springs Utilities host water workshop for kids — @csgazette

Cloud in a bottle diagram via BestOfPicture.com
Cloud in a bottle diagram via BestOfPicture.com

From The Colorado Springs Gazette (William J. Dagendesh):

Landin kicked off the demonstration by explaining the value of water and asking where this resource comes from. “It comes from the sewer,” one boy blurted, to which the other children exclaimed with disgust.

Landin explained that Colorado Springs relies on precipitation from snow that falls west of the continental divide 100 miles away. A small portion comes from precipitation from the Arkansas River 40 miles away, she said, and that water travels through pipes down from the Rocky Mountains.

“Water falls to earth as rain, snow and precipitation,” Landin said. “Water later evaporates into the air, creates clouds and falls back to earth as fresh water.”

That’s when Landin discussed Utilities’ water treatment role. “Has anyone cooked spaghetti with unclean water?” Landin asked as children grimaced and shook their heads. “Of course not, that would taste yucky. This is why Utilities cleans up the water before you use it.”

Landin also conducted several water-related games to demonstrate how people receive and use water. In the water system relay, children rolled whiffle balls down half cylinder makeshift ramps to show that most of Colorado Springs’ water is imported from more than 100 miles away, and that the system infrastructure is vast and complex to ensure customers have quality water.

A vapor shower demonstrated that water is used in many ways and that everyone needs to use it wisely to ensure a sustainable future. The white vapor that spilled out of a bucket in a fun way emphasized that taking shorter showers is a great water-conserving idea.

The disappearing water trick game, “Where’s the Water?” emphasized that everyone must conserve and use water wisely. A chemistry experiment showed children how waste water can be restored to its usable state. Two volunteers stirred a chemically treated makeshift waste water-filled beaker only to watch the liquid return to its unclean state.

“It takes a lot to clean up waste water,” Landin said.

The cloud in a bottle and cloud cannon experiments showed that precipitation produces water and that everyone depends on nature for the amount of water available. The latter experiment, in which Landin shot wisps of cloud vapor into the crowd from a black plastic trash can cloud cannon, proved popular with youngsters…

Following the demonstrations, children received a Water Warriors Activity Book filled with water-related crossword puzzles, and fun money and water-saving tips. Energy and water conservation stickers reminded youngsters to take shorter showers and to turn off the water when brushing their teeth.
“This event is an experience kids can carry with them throughout life,” Landin said as children collected their activity books and stickers.

Citizens can learn more about water conservation during the Southern Delivery System Waterfest from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on July 23 at the Edward W. Bailey Water Treatment Plant, 977 Marksheffel Rd. During the event, guests will get to touch a cloud, create a snowball, cool off with a fire hose and participate in a water scavenger hunt.

Tours of the new water treatment plant also will be offered. Everyone is encouraged to wear flat, sturdy shoes and to bring a small item for inclusion in the SDS time capsule scheduled for burial at noon. To learn more visit sdswater.org.

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