In Year 7 students learn about the water cycle. They follow the journey of a water drop from the ocean and back to the ocean.
In Year 12 Chemistry students learn how “Human activity also impacts on waterways” and how “Chemical monitoring and management assists in providing safe water for human use and to protect the habitats of other organisms”The excursion to Warragamba Dam and the Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant provided students a first-hand view of these processes.
At Warragamba Dam, students got an overview of the Sydney water catchment area, how Water NSW selects the best quality water to be drawn from the dam and how it supplies this raw water to one of eight water filtration plants in Sydney. A description of the different physical and chemical tests conducted by scientists at Water NSW was given and the significance of each test in terms of pollution and source of pollution was also discussed. Students were given the opportunity to carry out these tests for two water samples (one sourced from the Nepean River and the other from Lake Burragorang). The data obtained was then analysed. Upon completion of the tests all students were taken to the dam wall and to the valve house to see the pipelines that feed raw water to the filtration plants in Sydney.
After a quick lunch the students were then transported to the Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant. There they learned about the role of Sydney Water in terms of providing safe water. They learned that a water filtration plant treats raw water to supply potable water to the community. Both chemical and physical processes are involved. During the tour of the plant the chemical and physical aspects of each step in the process were shown to the students.
Some facts that students took from this excursion:
FACT- Water is an important resource
FACT –The quality of water produced by Sydney Water is one of the best in the world.
FACT- A person in Australia uses an average of 300L of water per day.
FACT- 80% of Sydney’s water is supplied by Warragamba Dam
This excursion also highlighted the fact that Science is important in all aspects of life.