Public Education

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For Fact Sheets and Brochures available for classroom use, or for a tour of the Water Treatment Facility, contact:

John Maldonado
(706) 860-2587

For a classroom discussion on water treatment, wastewater treatment or lab activities or facility tour, contact:

Rodney Silvey
(706) 868-3460 

For Fact Sheets and Brochures available for classroom use, or for a tour of the Wastewater Treatment Facility, contact:

John Maldonado
(706) 860-2587

For a classroom discussion on water, wastewater, or laboratory-related topics, contact:

Margaret Doss
(706) 651-0492



2 pie plates
cold water
warm water
liquid soap in a small jar


  • Fill one of the pie plates with cold water the other with warm water.
  • Sprinkle a bit of pepper on the water on each plate. Observe the results.
  • Touch the tip of your finger to the liquid soap in the small jar.
  • Slowly lower your finger into the center of the pie plate with warm water.
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 using the pie plate with cold water.


  1. Compare what happened to the pepper in the plate with warm water versus the cold water when your soapy fingertip was near the edge of the pie plate.
  2. How does soap assist in cleaning dishes, clothes or a person's body?
  3. What variables could be added to this experiment?
  4. What is your explanation for what happened?

Haiku is a type of poetry which is from Japan and is hundreds of years old. Haiku is pronounced "high-koo." It is a poem about a scene in nature. What makes it special is that it is only three lines long, with 17 syllables. Each line has a set number of syllables. First, 5 syllables. Second, 7 syllables. Third, 5 syllables. Example: Water, very wet.Fluid, constantly moving. Yet, always nearby? Now, try your hand at writing haiku. Use water as your subject.


  1. You take one shower a day for 10 minutes. How much water will you save each year if you install a low-flow showerhead in your home or apartment? Low-flow showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water each minute as opposed to an older model showerhead that uses 4 gallons per minute.
  2. If you then shorten your shower time to 5 minutes in addition to using a low-flow showerhead, how much water will be saved in a year?

How Much Water Could You Conserve?
A David Letterman warm-up activity: Ask your students to list the top 10 water uses in and around their households. From the same list, ask them to rank them in importance.
How much water do you use every day? How do you use it? The average person in a single family home uses 150 gallons each day. The average person in an apartment or condominium uses 110 gallons each day.

  1. Estimate how much water your family uses: # of family members x gallons = Estimated total water used per day, on average by family.
  2. Look at the pie charts which show the percentage of water used for different activities for single family and multifamily residences. With these percentages, figure out how many gallons your family may be using (on average) for the seven uses described.
  3. Once you know the number of gallons, plot and fill in the bar graph. Compare your results.



Students will explore the behavior of groundwater through two simple experiments. Student will observe percolation of water though soil and dissolution of soluble "pollutants" and the effects of density differences in keeping freshwater aquifers separate from saltwater aquifers underneath them.


test tubes (2 per group)
tap water
eye dropper
food coloring (yellow and blue)
sugar free "Kool-Aid" (dark-colored flavor)

Procedure Percolation and Dissolution

  1. This experiment simulates the action of rain water and sandy soil, and the dissolution of salt or another leachate such as fertilizer, herbicide or an insecticide. Fill a test tube with 2-3" of sand.
  2. Add a few ml of water from a dropper (do not saturate the sand completely). Observe as the water flows through and around the sand particles. This is percolation.
  3. Add a layer of dark-colored, "Kool-Aid" crystals to the surface of the sand. The crystals represent a soluble pollutant. Slowly add more water from the dropper. Observe the pollutant as it dissolves and flows (leaches) in solution through the sand. How might this same process affect a pond near a farm where fertilizer or pesticides have been used?

Density in Relation to Groundwater

  1. Prepare a concentrated solution of table salt in water and color it light yellow with food coloring. Prepare a sample of tap water colored dark blue. Fill a test tube about ½½ full with the yellow saltwater. Using a dropper, slowly add the blue tap water by allowing it to gently flow down the side of a tipped test tube.
  2. Observe that the blue freshwater (lower density) floats upon and is kept separate from the yellow saltwater (higher density). A narrow band of green can be observed between the blue and yellow layers. This indicates that some restricted mixing occurs. This is true in an aquifer where the soil prevents any turbulence. In underground areas near the ocean, the salt groundwater forms the floor of a freshwater aquifer. 3. Fill a second test tube about ½ full with light blue tap water. Using the same procedure introduce yellow saltwater to the test tube. Notice that these waters mix immediately as the more dense saltwater flows into the less dense freshwater, resulting in a green mixture.