Visit the Western Treatment Plant to experience its scale and environmental importance. Find out about pricing, how to book your visit, and tips to know before you go.
- Bookings for 2021
Bookings are now open for guided virtual tours of the plant in 2021. These offer breathtaking panoramas of the vast site (without the need to arrange a bus!).
- We excitedly anticipate the opening of our new education facility at Cocoroc, and hope to welcome you back on site for tours in the second half of 2021. To stay informed, subscribe to our monthly WaterEd newsletter.
Book your visit
Weekday visits to the Western Treatment Plant are available to primary and secondary schools, tertiary students, and seniors and community groups by pre-booking on available dates.
- If you need help booking, call us on 131 722.
- Schools can complement their tour with educational activities, run by our education officers at the plant: be sure to browse through these before you book.
- Tours will be cancelled on Total Fire Ban days and Extreme or Code Red Fire Danger ratings.
Primary and secondary schools
Primary and secondary school students can learn about the urban water cycle during a guided tour. This link takes you directly to the booking site, opening in a new browser.
Tertiary students, seniors and community groups
Guided Western Treatment Plant tours are also available to community and seniors groups, TAFE and tertiary students. This link takes you directly to the booking site, opening in a new browser.
Our virtual tour of the Western Treatment Plant is here! The tool has been created in line with the curriculum, so you can visit without leaving your home or classroom.
School groups can enhance their visit by participating in up to three education activities run by our education officers at the plant. Activities must be nominated at the time of booking, and additional costs apply for each activity per student.
- All ages (years 3-12)
Discovery Centre guided tour
Where does our drinking water come from? What goes on beneath our city? How is water recycled? Take a guided tour of the water cycle story from the catchments to the coast and learn how we're helping to create a sustainable future.
- Years 3-6
How does litter and rubbish end up in our rivers and creeks? Students act out a journey down the Yarra River from catchment to coast to see how humans impact stormwater quality.
Wetland food chain game
What happens to our food chain when there are too many predators? Students find out through this interactive game, which illustrates the food cycle and energy transfer in our special wetland environments. The game demonstrates the effects of pollution and predators on the transfer of energy between trophic levels.
- Years 3-7
What goes where?
Where should household wastes go? What can go onto the compost heap, the recycling bin or the trash? What should go into the sewerage and stormwater systems? In this interactive game, student teams actively debate the answer to these questions.
- Years 3-10
Water smart city
Explore stormwater and pollution in the Lego city! Students are introduced to the impacts of stormwater on our waterways and bays. Working with the model, students address stormwater issues and adapt the city to make it water smart.
- Years 5-10
Living in a catchment
What is a catchment? What's in a catchment? What are the differences between the upper, middle and lower regions of a catchment? Students work in teams to construct a giant jigsaw puzzle to study the factors that affect water quality.
Water recycling model
This model helps students better understand where our water comes from and the ways that recycled water can be used in horticulture, agriculture, industry and recreation. Real water flows over the model's catchment landscape with sound effects and track lighting showing different features of the model in action.
- Years 7-9
Micro-organisms at work
Discover the micro-organisms that play an important role in the biological treatment of wastewater at the Western Treatment Plant. Learn about how different environments in the treatment process are managed to encourage different micro-organisms to go to work.
Our Melbourne's Water Story website hosts a variety of Teacher Resources that you can complete with students before and after visiting the plant. These include hands-on investigations and discussions, enhancing your students' tour experiences and supporting units of work around wastewater treatment.
The cost of each tour varies depending on group and tour type. Prices are quoted per person and are GST inclusive.
For school groups, each educational activity costs an additional $4.00 per student.
|Group type||Max. group size||Length||Cost||Min. booking fee|
|Years 3-9||90||1 hr||From $4.00||$190 |
|Years 10-12||90||2 hrs||$8.00||$190|
|Seniors||50||2.5 hrs||$9.30 (includes morning tea)||$225|
|TAFE, tertiary and community||30||1-2 hrs||$8.00-$12.00 (depending on length of tour)||$225|
A cancellation fee of $60 applies with less than five business days' notice.
Groups must supply a bus for the tour and ensure the bus company has an appropriate public liability insurance policy ($10 million minimum).
Things to know before you go
We are committed to the safety of all visitors to our sites. When visiting our tour sites, we ask that you strictly follow these safety rules at all times:
- wear closed-toe, flat-soled shoes – sandals and thongs are not permitted on site
- wear long pants/trousers
- stay with your tour guide at all times while on tour
- do not climb on or over railings
- do not touch any machinery or equipment
- do not run
The Western Treatment Plant treats sewage, which contains many micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses and parasites. When visiting the plant:
- avoid contact with sewage and sewage-related products
- wash your hands before leaving the plant or eating
- do not eat or drink during the tour
- wash any contaminated clothing separately to your normal washing
- cover any open wounds, and report any minor cuts or abrasions that occur while onsite to Melbourne Water
- wear appropriate clothing for all weather conditions as activities are conducted outdoors
Student supervision and discipline is the school's responsibility, and teachers and adults accompanying school groups should actively supervise students at all times. Students should not be unsupervised at any time.
We reserve the right to cancel a booked tour, and ask individuals or groups to leave the site immediately if any action or behaviour is unsafe. All tours will be cancelled on days of very poor or hazardous air quality.
Complete our venue and safety form
Download and return a signed copy of the relevant form when you arrive for your tour: