New education program explores our area’s water cycle

Thirty St. Francis School sixth graders were the first students to participate in a new education program offered this month by Louisville Water Company and Louisville MSD. It’s a program that explores our area’s water cycle and why it stays in motion.

Science teacher Jason Chlopek said it was an engaging hands-on experience that helped his students make “larger connections” to the lessons they’ve been learning in his classroom.

For many years, Louisville Water has offered free, in-class programs to teachers. Lessons, available in a range of content areas, are aligned to standards in science, social studies, practical living, math and literacy.

In addition, Louisville Water Tower Park, with its WaterWorks Museum, is a popular field trip destination for schools that want their students to learn about Louisville Water’s history and treatment innovations.

But the new program, called River to River, explores Louisville’s complete water cycle, and it’s part of the One Water effort to share resources between Louisville Water and Louisville MSD — so it made sense to create an education program that tells the story of both utilities.

“Louisville Water and Louisville MSD work very closely with one of our most important natural resources,” noted Channa Newman, Louisville Water Education and Outreach Manager. “Each day millions of gallons of Ohio River water are treated and supplied to the city of Louisville — and then treated again and returned to the river.” Newman also noted that “the lesson is hands-on, content-driven and connects to the real world.”

Through activities involving a range of water pitchers, cups, and other containers, students learn how water is drawn from the Ohio River and then treated and distributed throughout the area. Additional activities then illustrate how wastewater and stormwater are collected and treated before being returned to the river.

Chlopek said the new program fit well with lessons in his classroom because “we study the earth’s spheres, including the atmosphere, the biosphere and the geosphere. River to River helped the students understand the hydrosphere.” He added that “there probably aren’t many cities where local utilities offer lessons that are as in-depth and engaging.”

Available for grades 5-8, River to River is designed to be taught in one classroom period, approximately 60 minutes. For more information, educators are encouraged to contact or 502-569-3600 x2436.