The Story of Water: Water and waterways

Hard surfaces like roads and footpaths in our cities stop rain from soaking into the ground. This water must go somewhere, and a network of stormwater pipes has been built across our cities to remove this excess water when it rains.

Stormwater pipes are different to the pipes in our homes. When it rains, water in our streets flows into stormwater drains, along with any rubbish or pollutants in the street.

Questions from the video: Look and learn challenge

  • Watch the water when it rains?
  • Does it go down a drain in your street?
  • What’s in the water as it runs down the drain?
  • How is this drain different from the drains in your kitchen sink, or bathroom?

Learning outcomes

  • Know about waterways or a local creek that flows faster after rain
  • Understand the impacts of waste on the environment
  • Explore different strategies to minimise the risk of waste in the environment

Things to think about

  1. Have you ever wondered how litter ends up in your local waterway or beach?
  2. Why you shouldn’t swim in the ocean or sea after heavy rainfall
  3. List the things you can do to stop litter.


Activity 1

Create a map of your school and local surrounding area

  1. Locate all the stormwater drains within a 250-meter radius of the school and draw them on your map.
  2. Locate waterways (rivers, creeks or lakes) in the local area, and add these to your map
  3. Draw a route any rubbish from your school may take – from the stormwater drain to the local waterway.

Remember to use basic cartographic conventions including map symbols and north point.

Activity 2

Create a poster, a song, slideshow or performance to encourage the school community to help prevent litter.

Activity 3

Watch the Wastewater treatment video and explain the difference between stormwater and sewage treatment.

Teacher toolbox

Download these worksheets and diagrams to use in your classroom.

Victorian Curriculum

Science: VCSSU041, VCSSU046, VCSSU047, VCSSU056, VCSSU059, VCSSU062
Geography: VCGGC082


Last updated: