This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded for the Be Here: Main Street project, a collaboration with the MuseWeb Foundation to record stories from rural America.
Local Detroit Lakes resident Erin Ryding runs the wastewater lab in this Minnesota community of 8,900 residents. She chats about the town's annual Lakes Country Water Festival and teaching 400+ 4th graders and teachers about the process of treating and caring for water. "Water is one of our greatest natural resources in this country. We just need to teach this next generation and generations to come that it is so important and that we have to protect it. Otherwise it won't be around forever."