26 Apr

Y5 Sewage Trip

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Y5 experienced the sights and smells of a water treatment plant at Slough Sewage works.  Thames Water have an onsite Education Centre to demonstrate how important it is to treat dirty water before it is returned to our waterways.  We tested toilet paper, kitchen roll and wet wipes by shaking in a water bottle and we were surprised by the results. Baby wipes and kitchen roll remain pretty much intact.  A great lesson to remind the children about the use of hand towels at school. We all put on safety hats, gloves and high visibility vests for our tour around this working site.  

Thames Water has over 85,000 miles of underground sewage pipes to maintain and repair. We learned that fat clogs up the pipes and costs £12 million a year to remove.  The sewage is filtered to remove unwanted rubbish such as false teeth, wedding rings, nappies and branches washed into the storm drains.  The water then passes through a series of settling tanks to remove solid particles.  After this the water is aerated to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria to digest all the organic material. The water flows on through more settling tanks before tested to ensure it is pure enough for release into the river Thames.

We now know the importance of only flushing our 4 'P's: 'Poo, pee, paper and puke!' in the words of Liz our guide.