Who Polluted The Water?

There’s pollution in the water, and the lake is suffering. But who put it there!? Discover how non-point source pollution can be difficult to trace and every harder to fix. But learn some tricks to help keep the lake communities healthy and brainstorm of your own too! 

Then try the investigative and project prompts, and enjoy the additional water activity booklets. 

Non-point source pollution is pollution that doesn’t come from a single source, such as a pollution from a whole neighborhood. Point-source pollution is pollution that is easily identified as coming from a signal source, such as a factory leak. 

Investigative Prompt

Pollution Problem

On your next outing, find in a safe nature space, try to find a water pollution solution! Find one that has already been put into place or where one could go in the future. Are there green belts and barriers around construction sites and waterways? Are there enough trash bins to dispose of litter? Are there places that need still help preventing pollution?

Did you find these things around water?

  • An organism or creature that has been impacted by pollution
  • A piece of litter that you can pick up and throw away
  • Make sure to use gloves or other grabbers to safely pick up litter
  • A storm drain in your neighborhood
  • Does it have this symbol, or one similar to it?
  • Anything that protects the water (signage, doggy bag stations, barriers, etc.)

Once you go back home, see if you can research some ways that your municipality protects waterways. You can start on arvadaco.gov/water-quality. 

Investigative Resources

water investigative prompt thumbnail preview

Project Prompt

Option 1: Create A Filter

Make some sludge/mud with dirt and water.

Now see if you can make a filter that cleans water. You can use things around your house, like bits of cloth, cotton balls, cardboard, etc. Or you can use things from outside, like sand, rocks, grass, etc.

How many layers does your filter need for the water to come our clear?

Option 2: Find A Pollution Solution

Find a source of pollution in your home or neighborhood. Investigate and determine all the possible sources (this could be difficult if it’s non-point source pollution!), This could be improperly disposed of household chemicals, litter in a park, or even dog waste on a trail.

Now map out steps that you could do to find a solution. Do some research, how have other places dealt with a similar problem? Will your proposed solution actually work and how do you know? What other unintended effects could your solution cause?

Most solutions involve many people, including City councils, neighborhood committees, and other household family members. You can think about education, demonstrations of properly disposing of pollution, signage, protective guidelines that could be implemented as part of your solution.

See if you can get help! You can create a Facebook group, start a website, or create a flyer to spread the word and get support for your solution.

Polluted Water Project Prompt

example of water filter layers

Want to see your pollution solution come to life? You’re not alone! 

You can create a Facebook group, start a website, or create a flyer to spread the word and get support for your solution.

Check out these other young Eco-Warriors who made their solutions come to reality: 

Additional Activities