Primary school students were among the first visitors to a new education centre designed to explain the benefits of sewage treatment and what goes on after you flush.

Within the mural-clad walls of Unitywater’s Sewage Treatment Education Centre at Murrumba Downs (QLD), a talking toilet gave opening-day visitors the lowdown on sewage treatment through the ages, then a video featuring animated bacteria characters showed how they break down waste in modern treatment processes. The centre, which utilises an existing building within the treatment plant, offers a program for students in Years 4 to 7 and tours of the plant.

“Modern sewage treatment plants play a vital role in keeping our communities and environment healthy,” said George Theo, CEO of Unitywater, who officially opened the education centre.

“As the population grows and more sewage is created, it’s important that communities understand the big picture of the urban water cycle and their part in it.

“Unfortunately most people don’t actually know what happens after they flush their loo or wash something down the sink and how serious it can get when the wrong things get put down. It costs almost $3 million each year to clear blockages in the sewerage network. This does not help to keep bills as low as possible for our customers. Educating the community about these costly operational issues will help to cut costs.

“This centre is designed to show students and community groups across the Moreton Bay region what goes on behind the scenes, in a fun and interactive way,” Mr Theo said.

Guests taking an inaugural tour of the new facility and the sewage treatment plant surrounding it included students from Our Lady of the Way Primary School.

CEO of Healthy Waterways Julie McLellan is taking a keen interest that children understand the water cycle from tap to sewage treatment plant to waterways.

“Sewage treatment plants play a vital role in keeping our waterways healthy. We think this centre is a fantastic initiative to help educate future generations about waterway health,” she said.

The Sewage Treatment Education Centre offers Moreton Bay schools a complete program that includes online resources, classroom lesson plans and treatment plant tours. The program will be expanded to include a Sunshine Coast education centre at the Maroochydore Sewage Treatment Plant.

The educational material was developed in consultation with industry partners and water and environmental education experts and is aligned to the education curriculum.

Unitywater provides water supply and sewerage services to the Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast communities and operates 18 sewage treatment plants, treating approximately 57,200 million litres per year across a 5,223 square kilometre service area.



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