Where Does It All Go?

On Friday of last week, Rebeca Fernández from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Office of Public Affairs visited with 3rd grade students to discuss water and the question, “Where does it all go?”

To discuss this large and often overlooked question with these young minds, Fernández began by speaking about rain, which eventually becomes our drinking water. Fernández and the students followed the path of this rain from the sky to the ground and, eventually, into the pipes and sewers through the grates all over Chicago. Next, they discussed ways that water becomes dirty in the city and reasons we wouldn’t want to drink this wastewater.

However, while some may believe water goes straight from these paths to the ocean, Fernández explained the MWRD’s important work in treating this water through water reclamation plants. To help explain this concept, Fernández showed a video that allowed Parker’s young “Water Science Explorers” to follow along “from the toilet to the plant.” When the water gets to the plant, MWRD showed the different levels and stages it must pass through, including coarse screens, aerated tanks, settling tanks and the different microbes that take part in the cleansing.

One 3rd grade student said, “It was really surprising and cool that they use germs to clean the water!” Parker thanks Fernández and the MWRD for speaking with our students about their vital role in cleaning up the water we drink and the waterways we share with nature.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.