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Below The Surface

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rebuilding a watershed table

Maintaining a watershed is a challenge whether you're talking about the Lake Champlain watershed or the watershed table play table on the top floor of ECHO.

A stripped down watershed table
Every few years, ECHO's Facilities Department staff drain down the watershed table, dry it out and reseal it with resin to ensure the longevity of the table and to return it to full operation for our guests to enjoy.

Every so often, that process goes off the deep end and we have to sand it all the way down to the fiberglass form within the table. This helps us to basically start from scratch to build a strong new form for the watershed. The table is given time to dry out and then resin is applied repeatedly to build a beautiful new watertight watershed for our guests to play in!
Components of the watershed table awaiting
additional resin treatments


This year's refurbish also includes new boats, buildings and barns along the "shoreline" of our miniature watershed.

The sanding is a slow, dusty process. Working with the heavy, thick resin, which is the best resin for rough and tumble 'habitats', is a challenge as it tends to setup within fifteen minutes after it's mixed with the hardener.

A view of a section of the watershed
table that has been successfully restored.
Refurbishing and resealing the watershed table is one of the more challenging projects for Facilities Department staff, but it's well worth it when we walk by and see guests enjoying their little watershed once again.


Imagine if our real Lake Champlain watershed was that easy to refurbish! Actually it is. It just takes all of us doing our "One Drop"; that one thing we can do to help make the Lake a cleaner lake. For Facilities staff, our "One Drop" is to get out and remove snow before it gets packed down by guests and other pedestrians so we can clear our sidewalks without using de-icer. What's your "One Drop"?

Watch ECHO's "one drop" video.



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