High school

Our high school excursions give students a behind the scenes look at how a water filtration or wastewater treatment plant works.

Students will see real life applications of content learnt in the classroom.

All our programs complement the NSW syllabus. Our HSC programs are linked to exam style questions.

These programs are free of charge to schools within the greater Sydney, Illawarra and Blue Mountains regions.

Students looking down into a treatment pond

Students get to see our treatment processes first hand at Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant.

9.4.5 Chemical Monitoring and Management

Chemistry plays an important role in monitoring and managing our water filtration and wastewater recycling plants. An excursion to our sites will give students an opportunity to see the practical application of chemistry in an industrial setting.

Excursion information

Sites visited This is a dual site excursion. You’ll visit both Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant and St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre.

You’ll see:
  • drinking water treatment
  • advanced water recycling (membrane technology).
Excursion length Five hours, including a short lunch break and travel between the two sites.
Topic covered 9.4.5 Chemical Monitoring and Management
Content delivered Students will:
  • learn about the collection, storage, treatment and supply of drinking water in greater Sydney
  • investigate possible sources of contamination in a catchment
  • understand the physical and chemical processes involved in the treatment of mass water supplies
  • engage with video and kiosk animations to learn about reverse osmosis
  • complete HSC style questions to prepare them for their exams.
Hands on activities Students perform basic water quality tests (pH, electrical conductivity, phosphate, nitrate, turbidity, hardness, temperature) to identify where their sample came from in the urban water cycle (ocean, pristine stream, farming site, tap or polluted Whatmine site).

Students discuss the reliability and validity of the experiment and suggest improvements.
Request an excursion

Request an excursion online.

For more information, email us.


Check out our HSC chemistry program in action!

9.4 Caring for the Country

We use a range of physical, chemical and biological treatment processes to clean wastewater and make it fit for various purposes. Students will see simple separation techniques applied on an industrial scale and explore the impact of society on water resources.

They will also learn about the importance of maintaining river environmental flows (e-flows) and how recycled water is used to support this.

Excursion information

Sites visited St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre

You’ll see:
  • wastewater treatment (primary, secondary and tertiary treatment)
  • advanced water recycling (membrane technology).
Excursion length Four hours, including a short lunch break.
Topic covered 9.4 Caring for the Country

Teachers are welcome to bring their Year 11 students on this excursion, but we’ll deliver content aimed at Year 12 students.
Content delivered Students will:
  • learn about the hydrologic cycle and sources of water for societal use
  • investigate how readily flushable wipes, tissues, toilet paper and facial wipes break down
  • see the wastewater treatment processes used to clean wastewater (sewage) at a water recycling plant
  • understand the role of advanced wastewater separation technologies and their use in an environmental flow replacement strategy.
Hands on activities Students will investigate the stages and processes of water and waste separation in a lab-style experiment.

They'll use a combination of materials to separate a mock wastewater sample with the aim of getting the sample as 'clean' as possible. Students are encouraged to identify the separation techniques they use and construct a flow chart of their results.
Request an excursion

Request an excursion online.

For more information, email us.

9.4 The Search for Better Health

We protect public health by providing clean, safe drinking water. We apply a multi-barrier approach to identify potential risks and how we can prevent them.

Excursion information

Sites visited Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant

You’ll see:
  • drinking water treatment.
Length

 
Five hours, including a short lunch break.
Topic covered 9.4 The Search for Better Health
Content delivered Students will:
  • learn about the system used to supply, treat and monitor water in greater Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.
  • learn about the way we work with partners to protect public health.
  • see the process used to treat drinking water, making it clean and safe.
  • investigate advanced water filtration technologies, such as reverse osmosis used to purify seawater as an alternate source of safe drinking water.
Hands on activities Students investigate different types of pathogens using light microscopes. Students will draw a scientific diagram of a water borne pathogen and estimate the size.
Request an excursion Request an excursion online.

For more information, email us.

The water cycle

Students examine the water cycle, water as a resource and separation techniques used for water management in Sydney.

They investigate the way we manage and monitor water quality and protect the environment and public health.

Want to request this excursion?
The best way to request this new excursion is to email education@sydneywater.com.au.

Excursion information

Sites visited

There are three options for this program:

Drinking water filtration:

  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant.

Wastewater treatment and water recycling:

  • St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre.

Dual site (you'll visit both a drinking water filtration and a water recycling plant):

  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant and St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre.
Excursion length Two hours for single site programs.

Five hours for dual site programs, including a short lunch break and travel between the two sites.
Topics covered The Water Cycle
Some content from Place and Liveability.
Content delivered Students will:
  • visit either a drinking water filtration plant, wastewater treatment plant or both
  • understand how we protect public health and the environment
  • investigate water quality monitoring
  • understand the processes involved in the treatment of drinking water (Orchard Hills site only)
  • understand the processes involved in the treatment of recycled water (St Marys site only)
  • investigate separation techniques used in water management
  • recognise the flow of water through the urban water cycle.
Hands on activities

We've selected hands on activities that support the content for each topic:

Drinking water focus

  • perform basic water quality tests
  • interact with a working catchment model
Wastewater focus

  • build an interactive cityscape
  • interact with a working catchment model
Dual site (both drinking water and wastewater) focus

  • create a process flow diagram
  • interact with a working catchment model
Request an excursion

Request an excursion online.

For more information, email us.

Water in the World

We manage the flow of water through our urban landscape. Students examine water as a resource and the factors influencing water availability in Sydney.

They investigate the nature of access to water and assess its uses. Students discuss variations in people’s perceptions about the value of water and the need for sustainable water management for a future liveable city.

Want to request this excursion?
The best way to request this new excursion is to email education@sydneywater.com.au.


Excursion information

Sites visited

There are three options for this program:

Drinking water filtration:
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant.
Wastewater treatment and water recycling:
  • St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre.
Dual site (you'll visit both a drinking water filtration and a water recycling plant):
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant and St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre.
Excursion length Four hours for single site programs, including a short lunch break.

Five hours for dual site programs, including a short lunch break and travel between the two sites.
Topic covered Water in the World
Some content from Place and Liveability.
Content delivered Students will:
  • visit either a drinking water filtration plant, wastewater treatment plant or both
  • understand how we protect public health and the environment
  • investigate water quality monitoring
  • understand the processes involved in the treatment of drinking water (Orchard Hills site only)
  • understand the processes involved in the treatment of recycled water (St Marys site only)
  • investigate the ways we contribute to a liveable city
  • recognise the flow of water through the urban water cycle.
Hands on activities We've selected hands on activities that support the content for each topic:

Drinking water focus
  • perform basic water quality tests
  • interact with a working catchment model

Wastewater focus
  • build an interactive cityscape
  • interact with a working catchment model

Dual site (both drinking water and wastewater) focus
  • create a process flow diagram
  • interact with a working catchment model
Request an excursion Request an excursion online.

For more information, email us.

Science for Years 7-10

Our general science programs take students behind the scenes to see how we all interact in the urban water cycle.

Excurison information

Sites visited We offer general science excursions at a number of sites.

Drinking water treatment sites:
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant
Wastewater treatment sites:
  • Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant
Wastewater treatment and water recycling sites:
  • Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant
  • St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre
  • Wollongong Water Recycling Plant
Excursion length Two hours.
Topic covered Age appropriate science content relating to the site being visited.
Content delivered Students will:
  • visit a drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment or a water recycling plant
  • learn about the urban water cycle, and individuals' and Sydney Water's roles and responsibilities
  • learn how wastewater treatment helps protect the environment and public health
  • engage in hands-on activities about water quality and our 'Wipes out of pipes' water education program.
Request an excursion Request an excursion online.

For more information, email us.

Geography for Years 7-10

Our geography programs explore the link between human actions within the urban water cycle and the consequences for ecological sustainability. Students will investigate how and why Sydney Water treats and recycles wastewater for a range of beneficial purposes.

Excursion information

Sites visited We offer general geography excursions at a number of sites.

Wastewater treatment sites:
  • Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant
Wastewater treatment and recycled water sites:
  • Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant
  • St Marys Water Recycling Education Centre
  • Wollongong Water Recycling Plant
Excursion length Two hours.
Topic covered Age appropriate geography content relating to the site they’re visiting.
Content delivered Students will:
  • visit a wastewater treatment or a water recycling plant
  • learn about the natural and urban water cycle, and individuals' and Sydney Water's roles and responsibilities
  • learn how wastewater treatment helps protect the environment and public health
  • learn about how and why Sydney Water recycles water and biosolids
  • how individuals, groups and communities can use water more sustainably.
Request an excursion You can request an excursion online.
For more information, email us.

High school resources

We have a range of water education resources for high school teachers and educators.

These resources are free for non-commercial use in schools, environmental education centres and for other non-commercial educational groups.

Stage 6 Chemistry

Water quality

The former Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) (now known as WaterNSW) developed resources to support HSC Chemistry Module 9.4 - Chemical monitoring and management. Students learn about the work of chemists in managing and monitoring waterways to ensure safe drinking water and protect habitats.

The resource contains six sections:

  • Investigations - first-hand investigations to test water samples and analyse results
  • Water quality - chemical monitoring and management, methods to purify water
  • Water contamination - factors that affect the concentrations of a range of ions in solution in natural bodies of water
  • Water catchments - features of Sydney's drinking water catchments
  • Drinking water - gathering, processing and presenting information on local town water supplies
  • Support for teachers - teaching and learning suggestions, syllabus links and further resource links.

Find out more about the SCA's HSC Chemistry water quality resources.

Stage 6 Biology

Water quality

This resource supports HSC Biology Module 9.4.2 - The search for better health. Students learn how biologists work to ensure clean drinking water for the community to help control disease.

The resource contains six sections:

  • Safe drinking water - covers water quality guidelines, Sydney's water supply and the global perspective on drinking water quality and health issues
  • Water Quality - water quality parameters, problems, monitoring and treatment
  • Catchments - the SCA's drinking water catchments and catchment management case studies to reduce pathogenic risks to drinking water
  • Water pathogens - pathogen sources, public health and pathogen science research
  • Terms and definitions - technical terms Support for teachers - teaching and learning suggestions, syllabus links and further resource links.

Find out more about the SCA's HSC Biology water quality resources.

Water for life

Water for life is a resource developed by the NSW Science Teachers Association (NSWSTA) that focuses on scientific problem solving. The resource provides learning objectopportunities for students to develop their own investigations or use scenarios to improve higher thinking skills.

The learning objects/scenarios focus on:

  • the water cycle and issues associated with water efficiency and contamination of catchments
  • drinking water use and possible savings through water efficiency in the home and community.
You can request an interactive CD for the science resources from the NSW Government's Metropolitan Water Directorate by email.

Water for life

The Water for Life project offers curriculum based resources on water management and sustainability. The resources have been developed by the NSW Geography Teachers' Association (GTANSW), in partnership with NSW Science Teachers' Association, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) the NSW Department of Education and Communities and the NSW Office of the Board of Studies.

The project aims to develop an understanding of sustainable water management and attitudes and behaviours to ensure students can play an informed and active role in using water wisely.

Units of work include:

  • 4G1 - The Blue Mountains as a World Heritage area, a water catchment area for Sydney, and a fieldwork site
  • 4G2 - River environments at the global, Australian and local levels including fieldwork at Warragamba Dam
  • 4G3 - Global water and gender issues and UNESCO's role in reducing global inequalities regarding water
  • 4G4 - Investigating access to fresh water and urbanisation as global issues, including local fieldwork at the school and understanding urbanisation impacts on Sydney's water supply
  • 5A1 - Drought as a natural hazard for Australia, including fieldwork in the local community
  • 5A2 - New technologies for water supply in a Sydney community (Newington) including fieldwork at Newington and Sydney Olympic Park
  • 5A3 - Waste management including wastewater management in Sydney and stormwater harvesting at a local level, including fieldwork at the school level.

You can download these resources through the Geography Teachers' Association of NSW.

Our valuable estuaries

This resource has been developed by OceanWatch Australia (OWA), in partnership with the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the NSW Fishermen's Cooperative Association and the Geography Teachers' Association of NSW.

The resource suits the NSW Geography syllabus Stage 5, focus area 5A3, Issues in Australian Environments - Land and Water Management and Waste Management. Issues are explored through case studies on coastal catchments of the Lower Clarence River and Lower Shoalhaven River.

The resource focuses on:

  • key physical and ecological processes that operate in coastal/marine environments
  • interaction of human activities and coastal catchments
  • importance of protecting our coastal/marine environments especially for sustainable fisheries
  • threats to sustainability of coastal/marine environments
  • individual, group and government responses to threats and evaluating their effectiveness, particularly in protecting water quality and fish habitats.

You can find the Our valuable estuaries resource on the OceanWatch Australia website.

Plant picks

Students will learn to:

  • understand the relationship between local environmental characteristics and plants
  • identify the suitability of plants to different environments
  • the relationship between plant characteristics and water requirements
  • access information from a variety of sources
  • analyse and interpret information to make recommendations
  • explore and evaluate new ideas
  • communicate conclusions and ideas.


Plant picks
lesson plan.

Sourcing water

Students will learn to:

  • understand different sources of water
  • investigate the advantages and disadvantages of different water sources
  • analyse and interpret information to determine the best option
  • explore and evaluate new ideas
  • communicate conclusions and ideas.


Sourcing water
lesson plan.

We offer a range of resources to support learning programs to schools in our area of operations.

To make our resources go further, we limit the amouunt of materials we send to each school.

To request resources for your school, please email us or call 1800 724 650.

Flow cup

A flow cup can measure the flow rate of your tap and shower in three easy steps. Measuring flow rates is part of doing a water audit.

Stickers and book labels

We have colourful water wise stickers and book labels for high school students.

Water audit DVD

The DVD is a short and simple guide to doing a water audit and developing your school's water efficiency plan.

Water based games

A range of interactive water based games for K - 12 are available through the primary and secondary students' portals on this website. View games

More water education resources

The Australian Water Association sells a range of water related resources (books and CDs) that are suitable for school children through to adults.

Find out more about these Teacher  resources.