Students get first-hand view of water treatment

Albert Lea seventh-graders received a first-hand look Tuesday into water treatment efforts undertaken by the Shell Rock River Watershed District and the city of Albert Lea.

Students toured the Albert Lea wastewater treatment plant, the Albert Lea Lake dam and electric fish barrier, and projects on Pickerel and White lakes.

Shell Rock River Watershed District resource technician Courtney Christensen asked students questions and discussed the steps the district has taken to clean area lakes at the White Lake fish barrier, west of Minnesota Highway 13. She described water monitoring and testing the district has undertaken.

Christensen said the event was beneficial for students. The district makes educational visits to schools each year.

“We are teaching kind of what we do to our local schools — getting kids to understand what the Shell Rock does and also getting them involved,” she said.

She said students were given information in a hands-on environment.

“It is just a huge educational aspect, to get kids aware of what is going on in the district,” Christensen said.

She said she enjoys teaching students.

Seventh-grade student Henrik Lange said he enjoyed the event.

“It is pretty interesting — learning how they work, the electric fish barriers,” he said.

Seventh-grade teacher Andrew Gustafson said visiting the wastewater treatment plant gave students a better idea of where sewage goes once it leaves the home.

“That’s really a good thing for them to know how that works,” he said.

Wastewater treatment plant supervisor Rick Ashling said students were given basic information on their tour of the plant.

“It is good to get them at a young age to understand what we are doing to keep the environment protected,” he said.

© 2015 Shell Rock River Watershed District, 305 S 1st Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007