Switched On, Flushed Down, Tossed Out: Investigating the Hidden Workings of Your Home

Switched On, Flushed Down, Tossed Out: Investigating the Hidden Workings of Your Home


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781550379020
Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
Publication date: 04/23/2005
Pages: 48
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.12(d)
Age Range: 8 - 10 Years

About the Author

Trudee Romanek is a children's book editor and the award-winning author of Zzz... The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About Sleep and The Technology Book for Girls and Other Advanced Beings.

Stephen MacEachern is an accomplished graphic designer and illustrator whose books include 38 Ways to Entertain Your Babysitter and The Kids Guide to Money Cents.

Read an Excerpt

The Water Works Case file #1

Every single time I turn a faucet, water pours out. This morning the water coming from our kitchen tap smelled v-e-r-y strange.

Where exactly does this water come from? How do agents deliver clean water to us at any moment? What is that smell?

My Theory:
Special water agents must have built secret passages to carry rain to our homes. Maybe when one of those agents was checking our passage, she spilled something into it. Maybe THAT'S what I can smell.

Take a look around your city or town. See a lake anywhere nearby? Or maybe a river? Your water probably comes from there. Or it may come from a well or an aquifer, a stream or a lake that's deep underground. But before any of it reaches your tap, stuff has to happen to it.

Water specialists pump lake water or river water through a filter. That gets rid of any leaves or garbage that might be floating in it. Then the specialists test that lake water, or water they're pumping up from underground, to see exactly what's in it. Not all water's clean enough to make it into your kitchen. Some contains germs that would make you sick if you swallowed them. The water specialists add chemicals, such as chlorine, to kill those germs and make the water safe for drinking.

The clean water usually gets pumped into large storage tanks. Look around the place where you live. You might see a storage tank standing up on tall legs. If it's near your home, the water pouring out of your tap probably comes from there.

[illustration caption:]
What you're smelling is chlorine gas. It kills germs that may be in the water.

[sidebar -- newspaper clipping:]
Ice Cold
People in some parts of the world have melted glaciers coming out of their taps. About 40% of the tap water in Boulder, Colorado, used to be ice in the Arapahoe Glacier above the city.

Others too have realized that melted ice can be good to drink. Companies that sell water in bottles have started harvesting water from glaciers and icebergs. Desert countries have even considered towing a giant iceberg to their area so that as it melts, they'll have fresh water. So far, no one's figured out how to get the iceberg where they want it without it melting too fast or shattering.

[illustration caption:]
Are giant icebergs sub-zero spy bases for international operations?

Table of Contents

I've noted areas in my own home and at my friend Taylor's that need investigation. They are as follows:

The Water Works

Case File #1: Troubled Waters
Case File #2: Dangerous Journey
Case File #3: Uphill Climb
Case File #4: In Hot Water
Case File #5: Outgoing Evidence

Waste Management

Case File #6: Poop Processing
Case File #7: Curbside Drop-off
Case File #8: Reassignment
Case File #9: Operation Organism

The Powers That Be

Case File #10: Super Poser
Case File #11: Zapped!

The Messengers

Case File #12: Tuning In
Case File #13: Hearing Things

The Heat

Case File #14: Piping Hot
Case File #15:
Playing It Cool
Case File #16: Inside Job

Case Closed

Agents of Tomorrow
Further Reading

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