The Fascinating Science Behind Wastewater – The Licking News

Licking’s Wastewater Treatment Plant recently welcomed Mrs. Candice Shepherd’s fourth grade classes for a tour, led by City Utilities employee Derek Hammond. During the trip, students learned about the crucial role the plant plays in purifying community wastewater before it is released back into natural waterways.

The students had been studying watersheds, sinkholes, and drainage systems in their science classes and were eager to see how these concepts applied in real life. Hammond guided them through the plant and explained the various purification filters and pumps used in the process. The students learned about three methods of purification – chemical, physical, and biological – with Licking’s plant utilizing a 21-day rotation without chemicals.

During the tour, Hammond introduced students to mist flies in one of the pumping sheds and took time to answer their questions and explain each step of the purifying process. He also emphasized the importance of being mindful of what should not be put into the sewer system, such as personal hygiene products, clothing, and toys.

The final stop on the tour was at Spring Creek beside the treatment plant, where students witnessed firsthand how their efforts impacted local water quality with a 98-99 percent waste removal rate that met Missouri Department of Natural Resources standards.

Overall, this field trip provided an excellent opportunity for students to gain practical knowledge about wastewater treatment plants while reinforcing their understanding of watersheds and drainage systems in their science curriculum.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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