Western Treatment Plant tours and virtual excursions

Experience the Western Treatment Plant and discover the historical and environmental importance of this fascinating site, through our guided tours and virtual excursions.

Bookings for 2022

We are taking bookings for virtual excursions and webinars of the Western Treatment Plant. Guided tours are open for small groups.
To stay informed about tours and water education, subscribe to our WaterEd newsletter.

Virtual excursions and webinars 

Bring the Western Treatment Plant straight to your classroom with these free interactive sessions, featuring our Western Treatment Plant virtual tour. We offer:

  • Virtual excursions (45-60 minutes), for upper primary and secondary students
    Aligned to the urban water cycle (Grades 3 and 4) and geography (Years 7 and 8) syllabus, including activities and lesson plans for pre- or post-excursion.
  • Webinars (1.5-2 hours), for VCE and tertiary students
    Features a real-world case study suited to VCE Environmental Science/Outdoor and Environmental Studies, and education and STEM-related tertiary courses.

Melbourne Water Education officer conducts virtual excursion via laptop

Both formats include:

  • an experienced Melbourne Water educator to lead the group
  • guided navigation through the virtual tour
  • a presentation on the key stages of the sewage treatment process, world-renowned wetlands, and the site’s biodiversity and heritage values
  • question and answer time.

Please note: at this stage, these sessions are reserved for schools and universities in the Greater Melbourne region.

Submit a booking enquiry for your preferred format below:

Book a virtual excursion 

Book a webinar

If you need help booking, contact us on 131 722 or [email protected].

Guided small group tours

Group of school children stand next to concrete channel at the Western Treatment Plant

Tours of the Western Treatment Plant are available to VCE, secondary and tertiary students.

Groups must supply a bus for the tour and ensure the bus company has an appropriate public liability insurance policy ($10 million minimum). 

Submit your booking enquiry below:

Book a school tour 

Book a tertiary group tour

    Educational activities

    Schools can enhance their visit with up to three activities run by our education officers. These must be nominated at the time of booking, and additional costs apply.

    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

    Stormwater story

    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.

    Pricing

    Costs vary depending on group and session type. Prices are quoted per person and are GST inclusive. Cancellations with less than 5 business days’ notice incur a $60 fee.

    For school groups visiting the Western Treatment Plant, 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
    Virtual excursion/webinar 300 1-2 hrs Free N/A

    Prepare for your visit

    Booked your tour of the Western Treatment Plant? Make sure to read the following information and complete our venue and safety form before you arrive.

    All tours will be cancelled on days of very poor or hazardous air quality.

    Safety

    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.

    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. 

    Venue and safety form

    Download and return a signed copy of the relevant form when you arrive for your tour:

     

    Last updated:
    8 April 2022