GET WET! HIGH SCHOOL WATER TESTING PROGRAM
Providence Water Forest Supervisor Christopher Riely assists Ponaganset High School students with the GET WET! water testing program in February 2014.
About GET WET!
The GET WET! water testing program, which was created by Theresa Thornton at the University of Maine, has been implemented by the Scituate Reservoir Watershed Education Program at Scituate High School since 2010 and at Ponaganset Regional High School since 2012. Students involved in the program test their own well water for six different indicators of drinking water quality: nitrates, iron, chlorides, alkalinity, ph, and hardness. These results are uploaded into maps that illustrate drinking water quality trends.
Throughout the program, students are educated about groundwater, factors that can influence well water quality, and how they can make sure the water from their own wells is kept safe to drink. The main emphasis is on professional water testing-though in-class testing can give some idea about water quality, students are given information about professional testing to share with their families and encouraged to take the next step and start professional testing on a regular schedule.
his map shows all of the private drinking water wells that have been tested by students in the GET WET! program since 2010.
At Scituate High School, honors chemistry students participating in the program take the next step and create a professional presentation about groundwater issues particular to Scituate and the results of the GET WET! testing program. Local environmental science professionals from organizations including Providence Water, RI DEM, the Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Department of Health visit the high school to mentor students in the creation of the presentation. This presentation is presented to families and the community at Scituate High School’s annual Energy and the Environment Community Night each spring.