Model: Where Does Our Water Come From?
- by Cornell Cooperative Extension,
Broome County, NY
- Trash Goes To School
Waste Management Institute
- GRADE LEVELS:
- SUBJECT AREAS:
All water is interconnected.
To demonstrate where groundwater is located and how we get it
to the surface. To visualize the movement of polluted groundwater
through the earth.
- - 1 clear plastic tumbler
- 8" piece of plastic tubing
- disposable plastic syringe
- beach sand
- coffee filter
- 1/2" square piece of cloth
- red food coloring
- spray bottle
- 1. Fasten piece of cloth over one end
of plastic tubing with tape or a rubber band -- this acts as
- 2. Place covered end of plastic tubing
against the bottom of the cup and tape to the side of the cup.
- 3. Place pebbles or large gravel in
the bottom third of the cup (this represents bedrock).
- 4. Cover gravel with filter paper cut
from a coffee filter.
- 5. Fill rest of cup (1" from the
top) with white or light colored sand -- this represents soil
6. With a spray bottle, rain on the sand until water visibly
filters into the gravel.
- 7. Place syringe in open end of plastic
tube and draw the plunger out. As water fills the syringe, your
model is working. The syringe represents a pump. The ground water
model is complete.
- Place food coloring on the ground surface
(sand) -- this represents contamination. Rain on the soil.
Again, try to pull the colored water out, repeat raining and
pumping the water.
- NOTE: It is extremely difficult to
leach some contaminants out of soil. Some chemicals will leach
readily, while others will not.