Local Fifth-Graders Tour Bethpage Water District’s Treatment Facility

Bethpage Elementary School students learn about water, treatment and conservation
Bethpage Water District Superintendent Mike Boufis explained how the district’s advanced oxidation process (AOP) systems work and everything they do to keep 1,4-dioxane out of the community’s water.
(Photo courtesy of the Bethpage Water District)

As part of its ongoing efforts to educate the public about all the processes underway to deliver the community with nothing but the highest quality drinking water, the Bethpage Water District (BWD) recently hosted all fifth-graders from the Bethpage Union Free School District for a tour of one of their treatment facilities. BWD Commissioners and Superintendent Mike Boufis guided the students through the various treatment components, provided a lesson about the water cycle and where their water comes from as well as several ways the students could help conserve water this summer.

“The youth of our community represent the future of Bethpage and it was a joy to see these students so enthusiastic and engaged while learning about their drinking water,” BWD Commissioner Theresa Black said. “When you learn and see something profound at a young age, it carries with you for the rest of your life. Our hope by showing these students what it takes to deliver them high quality water each and every day is that they will have a greater appreciation for this most precious natural resource well into adulthood.”

Superintendent Mike Boufis shows Bethpage students various materials and equipment components related to water treatment as well as the computer systems that ensure everything is operating properly.(Photo courtesy of the Bethpage Water District)

Nearly 200 students from Kramer Lane Elementary, Charles Campagne Elementary and Central Boulevard Elementary toured the BWD’s Plant 6, which is one of the most sophisticated water treatment facilities on the East Coast. District staff taught the students about the different types of treatment methods used at the facility, such as Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP), Granular-Activated Carbon (GAC) and Air Stripping Towers. Students were able to see all of this equipment firsthand, providing them with a better understanding of the hard work the District does every day to keep their water safe.

“In total, we conducted seven tours of our facility, and each group was as excellent as the last,” said John Coumatos, Chair of BWD Board of Commissioners. “The activities of the BWD are best understood when witnessed up close, and we hope our students grow to become as passionate about our water as we are. We greatly appreciate the School District coordinating these events with us and look forward to doing many more tours in the future.”

Students also came out of the tours with knowledge of where their water comes from and what they can do to conserve it. All in attendance also got a first-hand look at several fossils and other materials the district found in the process of drilling new wells, which helped the students better understand the geography of the community as well as the region’s sole-source aquifer system. By learning about their water source and how to better conserve it, students were able to walk away with ideas on how they can implement these practices into their daily lives.

Bethpage Water District Commissioners and staff welcomed nearly 200 fifth grade students from the Bethpage community for a tour at its Plant 6 water production and treatment facility. (Photo courtesy of the Bethpage Water District)

“These students represent the future of our community, and thus the future of Bethpage’s water,” BWD Commissioner Scott A. Greco said. “The preservation and protection of our precious water source grows more vital by the day, making it crucial that young people have a better relationship and understanding of all that is required to deliver them high-quality drinking water. Based on what we saw throughout the tours, we are greatly encouraged by what the younger generations here in Bethpage have to offer their community and we are confident that the future of our water is in good hands.”

—Submitted by the Bethpage Water District


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