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From past to present at the Western Treatment Plant (Years 5-6)

Western Treatment Plant virtual tour
The Western Treatment Plant

This lesson plan focuses on the historic development of Melbourne’s sewerage system and the Western Treatment Plant, including an overview of key treatment processes and the land's importance to Traditional Owners and the urban water cycle.

The activities include an introduction to the terms used in the sewage treatment, the processes involved and the importance of treating sewage before discharging it into Port Phillip Bay or recycling it for other purposes.

Using a historical context, students develop an understanding of the events that led to the development of a sewerage system. They apply their understandings about sustainability and use a set of questions to guide their inquiry about sustainable approaches used at the Western Treatment Plant.

Download the lesson plan

This lesson plan contains modules explicitly linked to the Victorian Curriculum. It has also been adapted into an excursion tour kit that can be used in conjunction with guided tours of the Western Treatment Plant, run by Melbourne Water's Education team.

Download the full plan or individual activities below.

Activities

Activity 1: Step back in time

Lagoons at the Western Treatment Plant

Students use an historical perspective to describe the events that led to the development of the Melbourne sewerage system and Western Treatment Plant.

Activity 2: Sewage - mainly solid or mainly liquid?

Students learn that sewage is mostly liquid, and model the proportion of solids to liquid in sewage.

Duration: one hour

Activity 3: How would we treat sewage?

Students draw on their knowledge about removing solids from water and apply those ideas to predict the types of processes are used at the Western Treatment Plant and how they might be carried out.

Duration: one hour

Cocoroc township at Western Treatment Plant site

Activity 4: Treating sewage sustainably

Students investigate the sustainable practices used at the Western Treatment Plant and the related benefits and impacts on society and the environment.

Duration: two hours, interactive whiteboard or data projector required

Activity 5: How does the Western Treatment Plant work?

Students explore the key processes used to treat sewage and develop a flow chart to describe the process.

Duration: two hours, interactive whiteboard or data projector required

Victorian curriculum links

  • VCHHK089: The nature of convict or colonial presence, including the factors that influenced changing patterns of development, how the environment changed, and aspects of the daily life of the inhabitants, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    History > Historical knowledge > The Australian colonies
  • VCHHK090: The effects of a significant development or event on a colony
    History > Historical knowledge > The Australian colonies
  • VCSSU073: Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives
    Science > Science understanding > Science as a human endeavour
  • VCSSU074: Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment
    Science > Science understanding > Biological sciences
  • VCSSU075: The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment
    Science > Science understanding > Biological sciences
  • VCSSU076: Solids, liquids and gases behave in different ways and have observable properties that help to classify them
    Science > Science understanding > Chemical sciences
  • VCSSU077: Changes to materials can be reversible, including melting, freezing, evaporating, or irreversible, including burning and rusting
    Science > Science understanding > Chemical sciences
  • VCSSU079: Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface
    Science > Science understanding > Earth and space sciences

Resources

WTP covered anaerobic digestion lagoons

What is sewage?

Discover more about sewage, then read the benefits of 'poo power' harnessed by the treatment process. Watch our videos on the treatment process here. 

Sewage

Western Treatment Plant

Western Treatment Plant virtual tour

Learn more about this world-class facility with our new virtual tour, with stunning 360-degree views you can access anytime, anywhere. 

Our new virtual tour

 

 

 

Last updated:
11 May 2020