Sometimes it’s the little things that matter, but taking two days out of our year to bring a little bit of water awareness to 250 local 4th graders is a BIG thing for all of us!
The students toured a variety of activities throughout the two days, including Buckman Direct Diversion’s Make Your Own Water Filter out of 250+ recycled water bottles we picked up from the City of Santa Fe’s Recycling Department (thank you Environmental Services/Recycling Services!).
BDD treats surface Rio Grande water to drinking water quality, and it takes a lot of work, and many steps to get the water clean enough for us to drink! Our staff is proud of what we do, and how we do it, and we staged a mini version of the filtration process for the water fiesta. We provided dirty “river” water complete with “bugs”, sticks and sand, and poured it through individual water bottle filters made of coffee filters, pebbles and small rocks. The water comes out a little cleaner , but it’s still dirty! Danny our Lab Specialist then showed students what smaller and better pore filtration can do at higher levels to clean out the remaining silt. We also discussed chemicals we use to treat and clean the water such a sodium hypochlorite! Our scrolling BDD Virtual Tour highlighted the BDD facilities, and the additional processes we use to clean river water such as coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation, in addition to our advanced treatments such as membrane filtration, ozone and granular activated carbon contactors.
Although it is a bit complicated to learn about water filtration process in 25 minutes for 4th graders, they really liked to see the facility online, learn about water filtration and make their own filters that they could take home to show their families. We’re looking forward to next year’s water fiesta and thinking of new ways next year’s kids can get their hand wet and muddy on this all day field trip!