In this forum, we’re all going to find out where our water comes from, whether you have a groundwater or a surface water source, how safe it is and how it is treated.
1. Where do you and your family get your drinking water from? Is it a well on your property or in your community, or is it from the city or town you live in.
If your water comes from the city you live in, find out where they get their water and how it is treated (be specific-call the treatment plant and ask or look it up on their website). Get the details here, what rivers or reservoirs feed or store your water, what exactly is the chemical treatment process used to clean it. Has the city issued any recent warnings about the quality of the water. Is there enough water to supply all the households that need it.
If your water comes from a well, how deep is your well (wells are required to have a metal tag at the surface with this information on it). How is it protected at the surface from infiltration by surface water, does it have a concrete pad or a well house, please describe your well in detail. Do you know when the well was installed, any history on it, has the pump been replaced, any other information?
2. What are the risk of contaminants in your water? Your answer will be different depending on the source of your water.
If you have a well, what could get into your water that you would not want to drink? Think about surface water and groundwater sources. Where is your septic system located if you have one on your property. What do your neighbors do that might affect your well, either through surface water runoff or groundwater transport. Are there any nearby industries, agriculture or gas stations? What kinds of contaminants could come from these sources?
If your water comes from a city supply, what could get into it that you would not want to drink. How would these contaminants get into the water. Think about surface water runoff, agriculture and industry sources. Be specific and find out what is in your area and close to rivers or reservoirs. Call the treatment plant.
3. Add a map!! Use Google maps (or another mapping application) to create a map for this DB. You can embed your map in your post or include a link to the map. If you share it, please be sure to give me access! If you have a well, your map should include the location of your well on your property, the location of your septic system, and the location of any possible sources of contamination on adjacent properties that you identified. If you get your water from the city, your map should include the location of your property, the location of the reservoir, location of the treatment plant and any possible sources of contamination that you identified.
Here is an example of a map for a house with a water well. WaterWellMap (Opens in new window.) http://goo.gl/maps/1GXlB
Here is an example of a map for a house on city water. CityWaterMap (Opens in new window.) http://goo.gl/maps/hvdUR
Be sure to address all of the applicable questions listed above, take some time and really find out about your drinking water supply.
4. After watching the “Story of Stuff – Bottled Water” provide your opinion of the video. Do you think it makes a valid point? Discuss with your reasoning and a demonstration that you watched and understood the video.
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