Used Water Dealers
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Show 1502: Used Water Dealers
Air Date: January 11, 2015
Rob McClendon: Here is a rather unappetizing thought – every drink of water you have ever taken has been used before, recycled and filtered either by man or by nature. So when an Oklahoma student FFA program began a lesson on water conservation, they did not look down below, but up above. Joining me now is our Alisa Hines.
Alisa Hines: Rob, the recent drought has many areas trying to figure out how to stretch their water supplies. And that’s why one group of students at Latta High School are becoming used water dealers.
Alisa: When you think of harvesting, you usually think of crops. But Seth Reeves, adviser to Latta FFA, says they’re harvesting something different: water.
Seth Reeves: In the last few years in Pontotoc County, we’ve had several rainwater restrictions on watering grasses and yards and things. So I just wanted to start looking at ways that we could, here at the ag building, teach people and show people and actually model on how to reclaim and harvest some of these natural resources to use in the future with the drought.
Alisa: Using gutters and barrels.
Seth Reeves: We wanted to use this model because it’s the most economic, but it’s also, it makes the most common sense. You know most buildings already have gutters on them so why not divert those gutters into the tanks so that they can start collecting this natural resource.
Alisa: Gene Reeves is with elite Tank of Ada and says they wanted to get involved because of a new Oklahoma law.
Gene Reeves: And because of that, I went to the president of our company, Mr. J.B. Bolin, and asked him if we would partner with Seth on his rain harvesting project to help him so we could show our community and our agriculture people just exactly how we can save water for their animals or just for their home.
Alisa: Now, Seth says you can even drink the water collected.
Seth Reeves: My Ag 1 class, Agriscience 1, we’re going to be doing a water quality study in January on this. So that we actually take slides from the diverter system we had out front and the actual tanks we had out back. And we’re also going to test the different colors of tanks to see if, if any light passes through and is able to cause bacteria to grow in any of the tanks. We’re going to do several different things so whenever we continue to move forward, our goal is to as a chapter start marketing this through our natural resources class next year and start pushing this and promoting this as a way of, “Hey, this is another form of collecting drinking water for not only your animals and plants but also for human consumption.”
Alisa: Student Will Ellison is even taking this project and using it in a pitch competition for another student organization, DECA.
Will Ellison: This project is so needed ’cause our resources are running out. And, therefore, we’re going to have to rely on something totally different than that.
Alisa: And the FFA students are putting the water to good use.
Seth Reeves: We’re using it in our greenhouse. I have two students right now that are doing agriscience projects to their testing different waters, well water, sulfur well water, tap water from our city of Ada and then our rainwater that we’ve captured in our barrels. And so we’re hypothesizing the rainwater will grow the plants better with less need for the extra added fertilizers and nutrients.
Alisa: And it’s a simple system.
Seth Reeves: The system we set up in the front, I wanted to set that up to show consumers that that’s what it needs to look like on your house. The diverter system, the leaf eater, all of that is so important in the process and so how it diverts the material, diverts the refuse from any animals that may have been on top of your house. And so as that goes down and starts to filter that water, then you only get clean, fresh water into your tanks.
Alisa: Over the next several years, Seth says they hope to show a decrease in water usage at the school and pass on how to do that to the community.
Seth Reeves: You know, if we can show some consumers, small consumers how to save money and take a little pressure off our water system here in Ada, then hopefully that will expand and move out. And so, we’ll just see where it goes from there.
Alisa: Harvesting water to save water – one barrel at a time.
Alisa: Seth says he plans on using their rainwater harvesting to water Latta High School’s baseball and softball fields. They are also putting in an aquaponics system in using the rainwater they collect to help grow herbs for their school’s lunchroom, as well as hosting a presentation for the community to learn how to harvest their own rainwater.
Rob: Certainly sounds like Latta FFA is really thinking about the future.
Alisa: They are, Rob, and none of this would be possible without $2,000 “Living to Serve” grant they received from the National FFA and the transportation company CSX.
Rob: All right. Thank you so much, Alisa.
Alisa: You’re welcome, Rob.