Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Roaming Classroom

During my time as a River Steward, I feel like I have spent most of it with the River Mobile. It has become my job (literally). Rain or shine (mostly rain) I am outside setting up the River Mobile at many different events or schools. Though this may seem like just a job about manual labor, it is actually much more than that to me.

Through setting up and tearing down the River Mobile at our last school in Greenville, I was able to sit in and hear our Graduate Assistant, Andrew, give a tour of the River Mobile to the teachers at the school. It was during his explanation of the River Mobile that I understood how much of an impact this semi-truck has on students. The River Mobile is an incredible teaching tool and it allows kids (and even adults!) to understand our Rivers and watersheds. Through the interactive technology inside and the useful Maps outside, kids are able to learn outside of their typical classrooms in a fun way. I realized on this trip, how much teachers enjoy the River Mobile. When we were leaving, a teacher at the school could not thank us enough for setting up the River Mobile all the way in Greenville. Seeing the excitement on her face about her students learning from our River Mobile really put my job in a whole new perspective.
It isn't just about adding staircases, maps, and railings for me. My job is helping to enable students to learn and grow from this traveling “classroom”. This traveling classroom has become one of my favorite parts of River Stewards, and I encourage everyone, regardless of age to experience a tour at least once. You’d be surprised at how much you learn!

Rainy River Love,

2016 Cohort

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rollin' on River

Just a lil river song comin' atcha from Dennis Wilson. Keepin' it real. Keepin' it chill. Rollin' on, rollin' on. 

Happy Wednesday, folks! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Water Treatment Plant

On a bleak and rainy Halloween the 2017 Cohort kept up their usual pep as they toured Dayton’s Water Treatment Plant.

I would just like to give a quick overview of where the city of Dayton’s water comes from and how it is treated at the plant. Water comes into the facility from various well fields, including the Mad River well fields. These well fields pump water into one of two water treatment stations, the Ottawa plant or the Miami plant. While each plant has a capacity of 96 million gallons a day, each only operates at around 20-25 million gallons. In this way, if something were to happen to one of the plants, the other could sufficiently take on all of the city of Dayton’s water needs. The water is first treated with lime, and the Miami plant is special because it has a lime recalcification process to reclaim used lime. The plant is also able to take used lime from other facilities and make it usable again, selling it back to other municipalities. The water is then treated with chlorine gas that is brought in by trucks. In this last sequence the water is also treated with fluorine and sand filtration/

On our tour we first saw the control room, which has various computer monitors to supervise the exterior and interior of the plant. These screens also displayed information from well fields throughout the Dayton area and information about the rate of water flow in various parts of the plant. I thought it was very interesting to see the Miami plant was taking in 17 million gallons of water, but only pumping out 11 million gallons at the time of our tour. The treated water needs time to mix with the chemicals, accounting for this difference. We then saw the lab, which to my surprise, looked exactly like a chemistry lab at UD. From there, we saw holding tanks that let settlement filter down, and giant tanks that hold treated water. The water is stored under pressure, so if there were a leak, water would spew out instead of letting contaminates seep in. We got to see the old pumps which are no longer used, but could be used in an emergency. We concluded our tour at the giant mosaic, coming full circle and following the water’s path through the facility.

The mosaic represents the path of drinking water from the buried aquifer to the water treatment plants to the homes of Dayton.

It was a Happy Halloween for the Baby Stews, as they trickled their way through the Water Treatment Facility.

Brandi Gerschutz
2017 Cohort 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

MOX 2014

During the weekend of October 3rd , Dayton's very own Five River MetroParks hosted one of the largest outdoor gear and experience festivals in the region. The Midwest Outdoor Experience is a two day one stop event for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers alike. MOX creates an event where outdoor related companies such as REI, Field & Stream, and even Subaru come out to showcase new gear and encourage outdoor engagement. These great companies are further complimented by the mecca of fantastic food vendors, the great hub of bands, and all the hands on activities that are offered by sponsors and Fiver River Metro Parks.

I found myself starting off this event on Friday evening at the Rivermobile. During this evening, fellow River Stewards and myself were able to engage locals and educate them about the wonderful water resources this area has to offer. Perhaps even more interesting were the conversations held with out-of-towners. They equipped themselves, by learning about Dayton’s watershed, with questions and ideas to bring back to their own home areas. Soon night came, and I left to go rest for the next day.

Waking up Saturday was quite a shock. The wind was blowing, the clouds were filling the sky, and the thermometer was at a whopping 42 degrees Fahrenheit. My mindset was discouraged due to the weather; especially since I was suppose to be volunteering in a Kayak for the better part of the day. Needless to say that changed as soon as I got out on the water. Being able to paddle with fellow enthusiasts and introduce newcomers to the activity was 100% worth the cold. Sharing stories and giving advice on how to paddle seemed to push away the bite of the wind, and usher in the warmth of new friendships.

That evening when I reflected on the previous two days, good memories and the faces of new friends filled my mind. It was truly a joy to share a weekend with the outdoor community both as a River Steward and a fellow outdoors enthusiast. Despite the temperamental weather, this community was able to make the most of the situation, enjoying great food, legendary music, and experiencing all adventure activities that MOX had to offer.

Until next year,

Wallace James Huggett

Cohort of 2017