From Tanks to Treatment: Licking City Utilities Shares the Inside Scoop with Fourth Graders

Unlocking the Secrets of Wastewater: A Special Report by The Licking News

Recently, Derek Hammond from Licking City Utilities shared surprising insights with Mrs. Candice Shepherd’s fourth grade classes during field trips to the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. The students learned about tank water capacity and visible stalactites, as well as the crucial role of the plant in processing community wastewater.

As part of their science curriculum on watersheds, sinkholes, and drainage systems, the students visited the wastewater treatment plant to gain a better understanding of how water is treated. Derek Hammond, who is certified as a B operator, guided them on a tour of the plant. He explained the various purification filters and pumps that water used for personal hygiene, laundry, and cleaning goes through before being released back into natural waterways.

The students learned about three different purification methods used at the plant: chemical, physical, and biological processes. They were also introduced to mist flies during a tour of one of the pumping sheds, which are harmless but present in abundance. Hammond answered questions and provided explanations about the equipment and steps of the purifying process, emphasizing the importance of not putting certain items into the sewer system.

The tour ended with a visit to Spring Creek beside the treatment plant, where they saw how consistent waste removal rates are achieved (98-99 percent), meeting state standards set by Missouri Department of Natural Resources. In conclusion, this field trip was an excellent opportunity for these students to gain valuable insights into Licking City Utilities’ wastewater treatment process and its significance in ensuring clean water quality for everyone in Licking County.

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