A gallon sized container
100ml beakers (or plastic cups)
Possible water cleaning materials-
Screens used as filters
Alum (available at grocery stores in the baking section)
Bowls or cups
Brown paper bag
1. Have students make wastewater from the materials available. Add soil, coffee, oil, etc to a gallon jug of water.
2. Shake the mixture well and distribute the wastewater into cups or beakers for the student groups. Students should record their observations.
3. The students’ mission is to try to clean the wastewater using the materials given. Students should wear goggles at all times. Limit the amount of bleach, alum and baking soda to about 1/2 a teaspoon.
4. Students will write a procedure they plan to use and record it in the data table.
5. After the students have written a procedure they will record their observations in the data table. Have students evaluate their results about the effectiveness of the method.
Observation of Initial Wastewater
Cleaning Strategy Used
Observation of Water
Effectiveness of Method
1. Was your cleaning method similar to those used by wastewater treatment plants?
2. Did you find that any of the material remained after you cleaned the water?
3. Would you recommend that treatment plants remove these materials? Do they? Why or why not?
- The watershed expert should be able to take this further and evaluate disinfection techniques.
Adapted from Project WET curriculum