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Licking’s Wastewater Treatment Plant recently hosted a field trip for Mrs. Candice Shepherd’s fourth grade classes. The students were given a tour by City Utilities employee Derek Hammond, who shared fascinating insights about tank water capacity and visible stalactites within the plant.

The students have been studying watersheds, sinkholes, and drainage systems in their science classes, making the trip to the wastewater treatment plant a perfect addition to their curriculum. The plant plays a crucial role in processing community wastewater and purifying it before it is released back into natural waterways.

During the tour, Hammond guided the students through the plant and explained the various purification filters and pumps used in the process. The students learned about the three purification methods – chemical, physical, and biological – with Licking’s plant utilizing a 21-day rotation for purification without the use of chemicals.

Hammond also emphasized the importance of being mindful of what should not be put into the sewer system, such as personal hygiene products, clothing, and toys. The final stop of the tour was at Spring Creek beside the treatment plant, where the water released into the creek consistently shows a 98-99 percent waste removal rate, meeting the standards set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Overall, this trip provided an excellent opportunity for these young learners to gain a better understanding of their local environment and how they can contribute to its preservation.

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