When you think of tap water, often only one word comes to
as in the Fulton community, share the belief that Fulton water is not healthy
and has a bad taste.
his general chemistry class, went out into the community in hopes of
discovering the truth.
well as the faculty and staff, had a notion that Fulton water was not safe to
drink. He once shared that belief.
experience for his general chemistry students that met all the requirements for
a valid project-based learning activity.
traditional learning goals for the course, and critically, the students must
buy into the project. The instructor
becomes the facilitator; the class gets the job done.”
out into the community to find out where this notion came from. Project-based
learning draws on the traditional coursework but introduces a hands-on
why they don’t drink Fulton water. The majority of those surveyed said they did
not like the taste, with health concerns being their next reason.
library to do research on the history of mining in Fulton. One of the possibilities
they considered was mine runoff causing heavy metal contamination in the water.
regulations for tap and bottled water and Fulton’s water quality compared to
that of Jefferson City and St. Louis.
quality,” Kyger said.
surprise. The quality of Fulton water was as good as Jefferson City or St.
Louis water. They concluded that Fulton water was not only healthy, but better
to drink than bottled water.
whether to drink tap or bottled water. The students overwhelmingly sided with
tap water for several reasons.
plastic water bottles consumed in one second in the United States, which
averages out to 50 billion bottles per year. Of these, 80 percent end up in the
landfill despite recycling programs. They cannot decompose for thousands of
isn’t always as safe as tap water. In a four-year study conducted by the Natural
Resources Defense Council, the NRDC found that roughly 22 percent
of the water tested in water bottles contained contaminant levels that exceeded
state health limits.
regularly tested. This means that contaminants could enter the water without
the public’s knowledge. Plastic toxins, for example, have been linked to
reproductive issues and cancer.
not have to be recalled, and the public doesn’t have to be informed.
water. Bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water. Drinking two liters
of tap water a day only costs 50 cents per year.
campus to inform the WWU community of their findings. A poll taken at the end showed that a
majority of the audience was genuinely surprised and convinced to start
drinking tap water.
and he was pleased with the result. He also found the experience as a whole to
be extremely rewarding.
people do not like the taste of tap water, but the WWU students’ research
indicated it is safe to drink.
water, bottled water is not required to be regularly tested.
Sami Berry, Amy Gangloff, Lacee Floyd, Rebekah Roe, Dr. Joe
Kyger, Lauren Clawson, Dyllan Harper, Megan Cooper and Olivia Neely discuss
their study of the safety of Fulton’s drinking water.
Miranda McKee, Samantha Berry, Joe Kyger, Olivia Neely and
Eilie Cole speak to Fulton Rotary about their water research.