Episode 2301 Lesson Plans: Shrewd Sanitation

Episode 2301 Lesson Plans: Shrewd Sanitation
February 8, 2023 Gary Abud Jr.

This lesson will explore the phenomenon of water pollution from combined sewer systems in the Great Lakes by learning about the smart sewer technology developed at Notre Dame and implemented in South Bend, IN. Students will learn about the technology, the water pollution problem it is trying to solve, and engineer a model sewer system of their own using household materials to transport water a distance.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Know about the smart sewer technology being used in cities like South Bend, IN and Buffalo, NY
  • Understand the water pollution problem posed by combined sewer systems
  • Be able to engineer a gravity sewer to transport water from one location to another

View the entire lesson plan including teacher background information, worksheets and more below or download for free here.

Activity 1:

This activity is a video discussion of a Great Lakes Now segment featuring how technology is giving South Bend, IN smarter sewers. During the video they need to jot down four things they took away from the video using the 4 Notes Summary Protocol.

Watch a Great Lakes Now Segment

Activity 2:

It’s true that technology can help improve our water management systems, including dealing with stormwater and sewage, but making such improvements in a city’s infrastructure can be costly. This article looks at the cost of water in Ontario.

In this activity, students will use a Think Pair Square Protocol for discussing what they will read about this very topic.

Read About Water Infrastructure

Activity 3:

In this activity, students will engineer a simple gravity sewer to transport “wastewater.” This will simulate how sewage is drained away from homes or businesses into a city’s waterways using gravity.

Engineer A Model Sewer System

Activity 4:

In this activity, students will create a self-starting siphon inspired by the siphon demonstration they observed in the launch phase of the lesson.

Create A Self-Starting Siphon

Check out Great Lakes Now’s segment on a high-tech solution for sewage and other segments featured in Episode 2301: Smart Sewers and Sunken Aircraft on this month’s landing page.

If you use this lesson or any of its activities with your learners, we’d love to hear about it! Contact us with any feedback or questions at: GreatLakesNow@DPTV.org

Find all the Great Lakes Now educational materials HERE.


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