Flush yourself this year at the Eco Experience

St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota may be known as the land of 10,000 lakes, but that’s not the only body of water you will learn about at Eco Experience this year. While our lakes are very important, so are the many rivers, streams and groundwater that flow through our great state. Let’s not forget about the drinking water we use on a daily basis. Stop by our exhibit to quench your thirst for knowledge about a variety of Minnesota’s waters.

Flush Yourself & learn more about chemicals going down the drain. New this year! Climb into our larger-than-life sink and slide down a drain inside our Water area this year. We are showing fairgoers what really happens to water when you flush something down the sink or toilet. Our wastewater systems do a great job of cleaning up the billions of gallons we flush, but there are still hundreds of chemicals that make it through the treatment process and into our rivers, and even back into our drinking water.

Mercury in fish. Back again for another year, fishing enthusiasts can be lured in by our mercury in fish exhibit. Guests will be able to learn how to make smart decisions about the fish they eat. They will also be able to “catch” a fish and learn how the amount of mercury in their fish compares to other species. Kids can use fish puppets to tell their favorite fishing tales.

Water conservation. This interactive exhibit gives visitors a chance to discover how much hidden water we consume, both directly and indirectly, in our daily lives. Did you know a mere 0.3 percent of the freshwater on Earth is surface water, which is the water we see in rivers and lakes? Minnesotans use water every day for drinking, washing, cooking, showering and of course, using the toilet. But these direct uses of water only make up about five percent of our average total “water footprint.” The majority of our water consumption is “hidden,” or embedded in the products and services we use and buy, such as clothing, food, electronics and furniture. Did you know that it takes 37 gallons to produce just one cup of coffee? Now that’s a latte water!

Drinking water. Family fun for everyone! Visitors can try their hand at the Question of the Day Water Tower. This interactive exhibit gives fair-goers a chance to learn what they can do to protect their water supply, inside and outside the home. Don’t leave without testing out our “magic faucet.” Fair guests can take a crack at this hands-on puzzle, learning about the water cycle and different water supplies.

Even more fun! People of all ages will be fascinated by an exhibit featuring real specimens of bugs that live in Minnesota streams. They can also take a spin at testing water quality using a sample from nearby Lake Como, and learn how to properly use winter de-icing salt to prevent it from washing into our local lakes where it’s toxic to living things.