The Water Treatment Plant 5th Grade Program begins with a pre-trip video "Go With the Flow" and classroom activities to introduce students to the concepts of watersheds and water treatment. Students begin the 4 1/2 hour field trip with a tour of the water treatment plant, a pH activity at the plant followed by lunch in Whatcom Falls Park. After lunch students participate in an "each pair teach a pair" activity focusing on watershed concepts as they walk to Bloedel Donovan Park where they can really see and experience the Lake Whatcom Watershed. Tours of the water treatment plant are also provided free of charge to interested groups on a request basis.
The Wastewater Treatment Plant 5th Grade Program begins with a pre-trip video "Down the Drain" and classroom activities to introduce the concept of wastewater treatment. The 4-1/2 hour program begins with a guided tour of the facility where the students receive an overview of the process to clean the wastewater so it can be discharged to Bellingham Bay with 94 to 95% of the contaminants removed. The students make their own "pollution soup" and try to clean it using various household utensils. They quickly learn that once water is dirty it is no easy task to clean it. They also visit the laboratory where they meet the real critters (bacteria) that are used to help clean the wastewater. The students then walk to the Ferry Terminal or Marine Park for their lunch. Along the way they begin an overview of the stormwater concepts of pervious and impervious surfaces and stormdrains vs sewers. Following lunch students return to the wastewater plant and participate in the Cookie Catchbasin activity to reinforce what they learned.
Dress for the weather. The tour will take you in and out of buildings. Since the plant is located near the Bay, the weather is usually more intense. This is an industrial site, therefore hard hats are required and will be provided for anyone touring the plant. Due to the hard hat requirement, children under the age of six are not allowed on plant grounds. Sensible shoes should be worn, i.e. no high heels, sandals or thongs. The plant is very complex, it is important not to touch dials, buttons or any other machinery during the tour. We provide plant personnel to lead the tours, however, we are not able to supervise children. Please be sure there is sufficient adult supervision. Tours of the wastewater treatment plant are also provided free of charge to interested groups on a request basis.