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Exploring Freshwater From Tap to Bottom

4/29/2011 11:39:15 AM

Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy students will learn the importance of water conservation at Tennessee American Water and aboard the Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge Explorer.

CDESA students will board the River Gorge Explorer as part of a freshwater conservation lesson.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007
Calvin Donaldson Students Explore Freshwater from Tap to Bottom
Tennessee American Provides Unique Learning Opportunity

Chattanooga, Tenn. (April 29, 2011) -  The Tennessee River is running high and fast right now, so it may be difficult to think of this body of water as a limited resource. But in fact, it is.

Nearly all of the water on Earth is either saltwater or not available for human use. Most of the remaining one percent is groundwater. That leaves just .86% in lakes and a tiny fraction, .02% in all of the world’s rivers. “When people realize what a tiny sliver of freshwater is represented by rivers, they are often truly amazed,” said George Bartnik, the Aquarium’s manager of educations programs. “It helps them understand that the Tennessee River is a precious natural resource.”

As part of National Drinking Water Week, fourth and fifth grade students from Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy will gain a deeper appreciation of this resource by exploring drinking water from the tap to the Tennessee River. “They’ll begin with a tour of Tennessee American Water’s facilities to learn how ordinary river water is processed to become our source of drinking water,” said Bartnik. “Then they’ll take a cruise aboard the River Gorge Explorer to learn more about the river’s importance for our use and for plants and animals.”

The students will also discover that it only takes a surprisingly small amount of pollutant to contaminate a large volume of freshwater. “A single teaspoon of oil, gasoline, paint or other chemical can pollute 1,000 gallons of drinking water,” said Bartnik. “So every small action to protect our source of drinking water is vital and makes a difference.”

Tennessee American Water is supporting these educational programs scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd and Wednesday, May 4th. “We’re proud to provide experiential learning opportunities like this,” said Deron Allen, Tennessee American Water’s president. “In the past we’ve worked with the Aquarium to provide hands-on learning in the classroom, but hopefully providing the opportunity to tour our facilities and then get out on the river will make a lasting impression on these students. One that will help them understand the importance of a clean watershed and connecting it to their drinking water source.”

Calvin Donaldson students are also involved with another water conservation project. They have decorated 40 rain barrels which will be featured at the Aquarium’s Party for the Planet on Saturday, April 30th. Residents can help reduce their water demand and stretch the water supply in lean times by using one of these sustainable works of art. The decorated barrels will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis for a donation to the Calvin Donaldson Fund. For more information go to:  http://tennesseeaquarium.blogspot.com/2011/04/rain-barrels-offered-at-aquariums-party.html

How much water are you using?
• Household faucet:  3 to 5 gallons per minute
• Shower:  5 to 10 gallons per minute
• Tub for bath:  50 gallons if full
• Toilet flushing:  5 to 7 gallons
• Dishwasher:  15 to 25 gallons
• Washing Machine:  35 gallons
• Lawn watering:  35 gallons per ½ acre
• Dripping faucet:  1000 gallons or more per year

 

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