Unlocking the Secrets of Wastewater: A Special Report by The Licking News

A Fascinating Tour: Understanding the Role of Licking’s Wastewater Treatment Plant in Protecting Our Watersheds

During recent visits to Licking’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, City Utilities employee Derek Hammond shared surprising insights with Mrs. Candice Shepherd’s fourth grade classes. The students learned about the natural process of purifying water and the plant’s role in speeding up this process before it flows back into natural waterways.

As part of their science curriculum on watersheds, sinkholes, and drainage systems, the fourth grade students visited the wastewater treatment plant to gain a better understanding of how water is treated. Hammond guided the students on a tour of the plant, explaining the various purification filters and pumps that water used for personal hygiene, laundry, and cleaning goes through before being released back into natural waterways.

The students were introduced to three purification methods used at the plant: chemical, physical, and biological processes. They were also shown mist flies during a tour of one of the pumping sheds, which are harmless but present in abundance. Hammond answered questions and provided explanations about the equipment and steps of the purifying process, emphasizing the importance of not putting certain items into the sewer system.

The field trip concluded with a visit to Spring Creek beside the treatment plant, where the water released consistently shows a 98 – 99 percent waste removal rate, meeting state standards set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Overall, the field trip provided valuable insights into


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