HCWA educates students at Children's Water Festival
The Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) partnered with Henry County Stormwater Management to host public education activities for local students during the recent Children’s Water Festival.
This event is organized annually by the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District to celebrate national Drinking Water Week. The Metro Water District held one event during the week on the northside and this event at the Shamrock-Blalock Community Use Facility in Jonesboro for students from southside schools. This is the 16thAnnual Children’s Water Festival hosted by the Metro Water District.
Several hundred fourth grade students from the City of Atlanta, as well as Rockdale, Clayton, and Henry County Schools, including more than 80 from Tussahaw Elementary, enjoyed lessons and activities on how to protect natural resources such as lakes, rivers and streams, and how to prevent various forms of pollution, from litter that reaches water bodies via storm water rains to fats, oils and grease (FOG) that enter the sewer system. Employees from the HCWA hosted the popular FOG relays, in fact, which demonstrate how to properly dispose of fats, oils, and grease, while not putting them down the sink.
The Children’s Water Festival also featured the trucks of the trade, with kids getting a close look at the technologies that help to maintain clean and safe local water and sewer systems. One of those demonstrations featured the jet truck from the HCWA Sewer Maintenance Department. Finally, students received a close look at live animals and lessons on wildlife habitats, thanks to the expertise provided by the HCWA Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center and the AWARE Wildlife Refuge.
“The kids learned how everything they do impacts the water cycle, and likewise, what they can do to protect it,” says Stephanie Williams, fourth grade teacher at Tussahaw Elementary School, whose students were among the participants in the Children’s Water Festival. “We appreciate the Henry County Water Authority and other hosts for putting on such a great event. This is my favorite field trip of the year.”
The goal of Drinking Water Week is to unite water utilities from across the country with the communities they serve to raise awareness of the importance of drinking water in our daily lives. This year’s Drinking Water Week theme was “Protect the Source,” which refers to the importance of protecting natural resources, such as those water sources that provide communities with clean, safe drinking water.
Drinking Water Week is recognized nationally during the first full week in May each year, with this year’s celebration held May 5-11. In Georgia, thanks to a resolution passed by the State Legislature a few years ago, each Monday of Drinking Water Week (May 6 this year) is recognized as Water Professionals Appreciation Day.
“We estimate that at least 10,000 people in Georgia are involved in the water industry,” says Pam Burnett, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals. “In many communities in Georgia, the public water system is one of the largest employers and the backbone of the local economy.”
Since 1988, Drinking Water Week has been an annual celebration facilitated by the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The week-long observance was declared via a joint U.S. Congressional Resolution signed by President Reagan.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.