Using Tried and True Tools

If you work with communities that struggle to explain “how a water plant works” to newly elected Boards, Commissions or Mayors and Councils, you may want to point them to EPA’s Virtual Tour of a surface water source treatment plant.  The Virtual Tour has been around for about six years and features an introduction by “Thirstin”, an animated water glass with a ball cap and feet.  While this may make you think that the Tour is designed just for school children, this is not the case.  The Virtual Tour walks viewers through all of the basic elements of water treatment — source water and intake, pretreatment and screening, coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, and distribution and storage.  Water quality, costs, and the environment are all discussed.  Once the “Tour” is complete, there are clickable links that include creating an aquifer and building your own filtration device.  There’s also a useful web reference section.

The Virtual Tour offers English and Spanish language options and can be downloaded at:  Note that Adobe Flash is required for the Tour to work properly – and it make take several minutes to open based on your internet connection.  You may also order a CD version of the Tour by calling 1-800-490-9198 and referencing EPA publication number 816-C-06-002.  You may also go to and place your order electronically (please use the same publication number).