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OHS students travel to water treatment plan

OAKMAN — Oakman High School environmental science students recently made a trip that opened their eyes to the intricacies of receiving water.

Twenty-five Oakman juniors and seniors traveled to the Jasper Waterworks and Sewer Board’s Laye-Williams Water Treatment Plant in November to learn about the process of water eventually making it to homes in the area.

The plant is located outside of Jasper along the Warrior River. According to the Jasper Waterworks and Sewer Board website, raw water enters the plant from Mulberry Fork, where it goes through a treatment process to make it safe for drinking. The plant processes an estimated 18 million gallons of water each day.

“One of our objectives in environmental science is how humans use resources they have available to them, and, of course, water is a very important thing,” Oakman science teacher Allan Massey said, who went with his students on the trip. “For us to be able to go into our own community and really be able to look at what it takes to start getting water to our tap at home, and where it comes from, [is important].”

Randy Clark of the water treatment plant showed students around the facility, and Massey said he took time to answer the students’ questions.

Massey said he was impressed with how engaged students were during the trip, and he said the visit directly ties in to what they are studying in school.

“The visit was a part of the students’ investigations of Earth’s resources and the human dependency on these resources, as well as the inevitable effects to the environment as a result of our use of these resources,” he said. “Fresh water makes up only 3 percent of all of the water on Earth, with much of that 3 percent locked away in polar ice caps and glaciers. While we are fortunate to have abundant clean water supplies in Walker County, we are also reminded of the importance of using any of Earth’s bounty wisely.”

Massey plans to take students to the facility again, and would like to find a community component to further educate his students.

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