Water pollution education for kids

    Published: October 1, 2015

    Water Pollution Class for Kids

    In many countries, countless children live without clean drinking water. To better help your child understand the importance of clean, unpolluted water, try the following learning activities with your child, which provide a general look at how dirty water becomes potable water.

    Coagulation and Sedimentation

    To cultivate a rudimentary understanding of how water treatment plants function, go to your local grocery store and purchase some alum, which is used in the water purification process to aggregate particles in unpurified water. Add two tablespoons of alum to a jar of murky pond water, then place a lid over the top, and shake vigorously. Allow the jar to sit undisturbed for a few hours and return to see how the alum has cleaned the water by forming clumps with the dirt and pulling it to the bottom of the jar – much like it does at a real water treatment plant.


    Demonstrate the basic concept of filtration by placing sand or gravel in an empty plastic container with holes on the bottom. Arrange a collecting tray underneath and pour the pond water into the plastic container, allowing the gravel or sand to filter out many of the impurities. Next, repeat the process using a coffee filter to demonstrate the varying effectiveness of specific filtration systems.


    To show how chlorine is often used to kill invisible micro-organisms in drinking water, spray a small amount of liquid bleach into your sample of pond water. Wait a few minutes and then watch the color of the water change dramatically, as countless micro-organisms are destroyed.

    Some Isn’t Always Enough

    While these experiments give basic understanding into purification techniques used by water treatment facilities, they also demonstrate the need for extra purification methods at home. While generally effective, water treatment facilities aren’t able to purify water to the same degree as a Pelican Water whole house filter with UV, which destroys 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and microorganisms in the water throughout your .