Sixth-graders write on water pollution


Students in Cory DiDonato’s sixth grade team at Windham Middle School studied water pollution and ways to help remedy it. The students have tested local water sources, researched top pollutants and have stenciled warnings on neighborhood storm drains. They also wrote essays. Here is a sampling.

People need to be
aware of water pollution

Did you know that every 15 seconds about 12 kids die from water diseases?

Thankfully we live in a community that this doesn’t happen to us. Here is some background information.

Each year there are about 250 million cases of water-based diseases. Ninety-seven percent of water is salt water. Forty percent of America’s rivers and 46 percent of America’s lakes are too polluted for fishing and swimming. Twenty-seven percent of urban populations in the developing world do not have piped water in their homes, which means that they have to leave their home to go get it. People who do have piped water want to make sure they aren’t lead-based, which could lead to lead poisoning in their water. I think that we need to be more careful with what we do with our water. In the following paragraphs I will tell you more.

First, I don’t think that we should pollute the water. For example, if coliform bacteria gets into the water this means that you can’t go swimming. Also if pesticides gets into the water, you can’t fish, because the fish will be dying from low oxygen. Another reason, if the water gets too polluted people will start to die  from different types of diseases like cholera and dysentery.

Second, I think that people in this world use too much water. Take shorter showers, for instance, listen to three songs, or set a timer. Also, if the toilet is yellow keep it mellow, because one flush is 15 gallons of water. Last, don’t run the water when brushing your teeth.

Finally, make sure that the storm drains around you are as clean as they can be. For example, pick up your pet poop so that the water doesn’t get e-coli. Also, don’t put fertilizer on your ground without a vegetated buffer; if you don’t, the water could have high turbidity. Last, don’t dump anything down the storm drain, if you do, you will get a fine, and have to clean what ever up and the most important thing is that whatever goes in storm drain goes to the closest water body.

We have to be more aware of our water. As I said before we need to work on making sure the storm drains are clean, also to not pollute the water, and to save  as much water as you can. Do you really, really want people drinking polluted water and have them get sick from it? I think that we should STOP polluting the water.  
Elizabeth Levesque
Windham Middle School

Here is why we shouldn’t
pollute our water supplies

Did you know about half the world’s hospital beds are occupied by someone with a water-related illness? Someday that person could be you, if pollution doesn’t stop!

Leaky car fluids can impact a local body of water by runoff. Runoff is when things get washed off by rain/precipitation and travels to a body of water. Almost 4 million people die each year from a water-related illness. Either from lack of clean water or because their water hasn’t been treated the right way.

Most people don’t know this, but people who drink coffee everyday are using a lot of water. It takes 11,000 liters (2,905 gallons) to make a pound of coffee. My opinion is I think we need to treat our water like it is very rare and not take advantage of it. In the following paragraphs I will tell you more.

First, over 1.5 billion people don’t have access to water, so be grateful that you do! Most places around the world don’t have the proper filtering in their water. Windham is very lucky for our clean water. Some people take advantage of water, but drilling a freshwater well can cost from a few hundred to over $40,000. Other people don’t care about our environment. For example, 90 percent of wastewater is getting discharged into streams or rivers without any treatment.

Secondly, bodies of water are being polluted and making them unsafe. Our actions are changing the environment, not in a very good way. Everyone has a part (40 percent of America’s rivers and 46 percent of lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or any aquatic life). The common pollutants for Maine are road salt/sand, animal waste, fertilizer and soil. Most of these pollutants make the water have more turbidity. Turbidity means how cloudy the water is, if the water is too cloudy sunlight can’t reach the bottom of the body of water. This can make plants and animals die.

Lastly, harmless animals are getting killed for our actions. Animals are eating trash thinking it is food. Also they are getting stuck and wrapped in plastic because we are invading their habitat. We are not just polluting the animals’ environment, we’re also polluting ours.

This is why I think we shouldn’t take advantage of the water and appreciate what we have now. Just remember over half the world’s hospital beds (and that’s a lot of people) are there because of a water-related disease.

Gwen Kim
Windham Middle School

If you enjoy it, you need to change

So, I’ve heard you like swimming, splashing, playing in the water? Well, I have something to tell you. Did you know over 1.5 billion people do not have access to clean, safe water? On average women in Africa/Asia have to walk 3.7 miles one way, so they have to walk 7.4 miles just to get clean and safe water to drink. … My opinion on our water is that I think we are fine as of right now, but if we can’t keep our water clean then we will end up like other countries that have a lack of fresh/clean water.

If we don’t keep our water clean we will end up suffering. Over 1.5 billion people do not have access to safe water. Also, half of the world’s schools do not even have water. A typical year in a third world country has 5-10 times as many people die from diarrhea than war.

We need to consume less water. First , a 5-minute shower in an average American home will use more water than a person living in a developing world slum will use in a whole day. And on another hand, using a low-flow shower head or a toilet will save a bunch of water. Last, when you are brushing your teeth make sure to turn off the faucet when you are not using it.

Some shocking water facts are: Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses as much energy as lighting a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours. Next, in the USA more than 4 million gallons of water leak from each year. Lastly, we have 3 percent of fresh water to drink but 2 percent of it is stuck in glaciers so that means we have 1 percent of fresh water.

My opinion is that if we don’t keep our water clean we will end up like other countries. My reasons are, if we don’t change our way, we will be suffering. We need to consume less water. If we don’t, we will become the shocking facts about water.

Listen people, we all know you love using its relaxing, refreshing and cooling resources. If we don’t want that to change than you need to think who you’re hurting, and what you need to change.

Jordan Bridge
Windham Middle School