Columbia Basin Trust
Students from Golden’s three Grade 8 classes spent a day travelling around the town and area in order to learn first-hand where their water comes from, where it goes after it’s used, and how important it is to look after water and keep watersheds healthy.
The field trip was part of Know Your Watershed, a water stewardship program developed by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and local environmental educators.
The students toured the town’s water facilities, learning how water gets from underground aquifers to Golden’s homes and businesses, then what happens to the used water before it flows back into the Columbia River.
The day included stops at a well near Alexander Park Elementary School, the town’s water reservoirs near the sports fields and the waste water treatment facility.
The students also visited North Hospital Creek to perform water quality tests of their own, plus discover what organisms live in the creek and what they tell about the health of the creek.
“A huge thank you to the Town of Golden, especially Al Taylor, Water Systems Operator, who led us on our tour of the municipal water facilities; not only is he knowledgeable, but also able to convey the information to the students in a relevant and engaging way,” said Sanne van der Ros, Know Your Watershed educator. “We also want to thank the volunteers who came out to help, who shared great knowledge and enthusiasm for water and healthy watersheds.”
The students learned many fascinating facts, such as:
Golden is one of the few B.C. communities that doesn’t need to add chlorine to its drinking water, as it already meets health standards;
Town staff sample the water 307 times a year to make sure it continues to meet standards;
Under the town, there are 39 kilometres of pipes for clean water, plus 36 km of pipes for sewage; if laid end to end down the valley, these would lead from Golden all the way past Parson and back;
Golden residents and businesses collectively use an average of four swimming pools of water per day.
“It’s important to actively engage youth in water issues in the Basin,” said Rick Allen, CBT Program Manager, Water and Environment. “Through Know Your Watershed, students are learning the important role water plays in our lives.”
The Know Your Watershed program includes two classroom sessions and a full-day field trip that increase students’ knowledge and awareness of their watershed and water-related issues in their community.
Students are also encouraged to take part in a local water action project that expands on the classroom and field-trip learning.
To learn more about Know Your Watershed, visit www.cbt.org/waterstewardship.