Water Purification Problem-Based Learning Set

Operation Water Biology: Water Purification

Grades: 10-12
Time: 10-12 hours

Problem #1:

In a First Nations community not far from Edmonton, there has been a boil water advisory in place for many years. The groundwater has been contaminated with iron and arsenic for a long time and they do not have a working water treatment facility in place.

As a scientist working for the Ministry of Health as part of the Government of Alberta, it is your job to oversee this situation. The first order of business is to put a water treatment facility in place. You need to do some preliminary research on water treatment facilities and the science behind how they work before you can make an educated decision.

Problem #2:

Now that the preliminary research is complete, it is time to choose which water treatment plant to put into place for the First Nation community. However, some new information has been released about the situation in the community. Conventional water treatment systems will not work in the community as the source water is extremely poor.

Your job is to choose the best water treatment system to use in the community.

Problem #3:

After a lengthy decision-making process, the IBROM system was found to be the best water treatment system to use in the community. This system uses naturally occurring bacteria to purify the water instead of oxidants.

Your final task for this situation is to give a formal presentation to the public on the IBROM system, the differences between this system and the conventional system, and the economic and environmental benefits with which it is associated. This presentation should be brief but informative.

Problem-Based Learning Presentation Rubric