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Earth's Plumbing System



Earth's Plumbing System
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.71

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    aquifers, permeable, streambed, watershed, discharge, surface, supplied, zone, recharge, wells, schedule, groundwater, natural, aquifer, meters, volcanic


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Earth's Plumbing System
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Surface water, groundwater, springs, lakes, and rivers: They all work together to give us a kind of natural plumbing system. We rely on this system for the water we use every day. But how does it all work?
 
2     You know that a watershed is an area that is drained by a stream system. But did you know that groundwater is also part of the watershed?
 
3     Some of the water that falls to Earth's surface seeps into the ground. This is called recharge. The area where the soil is permeable is called the recharge area. The groundwater soaks slowly into the earth until it comes to a layer it can't get through. Then it flows sideways into an aquifer.
 
4     People can drill wells into the aquifer to help get the water to the surface. Or, it may reach the surface on its own. Groundwater is connected to surface water. The connection is usually through springs and wetlands. As the water flows under the ground, it may reach a discharge zone. This is an area where the water table is above the ground level.

Paragraphs 5 to 12:
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