Willis Road Elementary School wins water challenge
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Fourth graders from Willis Road Elementary School got to see — close up — how water goes from a lake to the tap during a recent field trip to Newnan Utilities’ Hershall Norred Water Treatment Plant.
The field trip was the prize in the annual school system-wide contest to see which school can reduce water consumption the most.
As part of that, students are asked to devise a plan to conserve water, said Donald White, science contest specialist with the school system. Those plans are put in place in each school. Water use totals from September are compared with water use totals in March, to see which school saved the most water, per student.
The field trip rotates between the Newnan Utilities plant one year and the Coweta Water Authority’s B.T. Brown Water Treatment Plant the next year.
Willis Road saved 68,000 gallons in the month of March, White said. System wide, 450,000 gallons were conserved.
“This is all part of CWET’s water conservation curriculum for the fourth grade,” White said.
Each summer, CWET sponsors training sessions for elementary, middle, and high school teachers.
Last summer, teachers learned how to do “adopt a stream” water quality tests.
“What is really unique is the approach CWET took towards the education programs they offer,” said White. “Instead of sending a program for teachers to do in addition to their curriculum, CWET provides teachers with ways to meet the science standards while talking about water and water conservation. The kids get the same science but in the context of water and water issues,” White said — a real life experience.
“It’s all capped off by a visit to the water plant to see how the water we use every day is produced,” he said. “The whole program is a lot of fun for everyone involved and is one of my favorite times of the year.”
In addition to the water plant tour, students got to try their hand at using a firefighter’s hose. They also saw a video on the water cycle and enjoyed a lunch provided by Cargill.