What are the three main waterway systems in Christchurch? How do we contribute to them?

This programme is on hold until further notice due to onsite work. Please contact us with any enquiries.

Students in front of the water treatment plant

Students explore the fascinating wastewater journey at the Christchurch Treatment Plant, including finding out what happens to everything that goes down the drain.

Be prepared for a revival of the senses – this can be a smelly one.

Please note special adult:student ratios are required. 

Year level 5 to 13
Curriculum level 2 to 8
Availability On hold until further notice.
Times On hold until further notice.
Site Christchurch Waste Water Treatment Plant
Cost Free
Number of students 35 students
Requirements Closed-in shoes must be worn

Key concepts

Sustainability, natural cycles for dealing with waste, processes, basic biochemistry, technology.

Lesson description/intentions

For once, hands-on is not the first choice of learning. Students are able to get up close to the working systems and processes that take place to treat what we flush away in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry. Closed-in shoes are required for entry to this working site.

Possible success criteria

Students may be able to:

  • describe one or more parts of the waste water treatment cycle
  • consider the implications of disposing liquid waste
  • describe the natural processes that are used in the treatment of waste water
  • name two key issues about the treatment of waste water
  • name two by-products from waste water treatment
  • explain to others what they think is the best way to deal with waste water in Christchurch and justify their decision
  • identify actions they can take to reduce the amount of waste water produced in their homes.

Key competencies

  • Thinking – students will be able to justify their decisions and aspirations for a sustainable waste water system.
  • Relating to others – students are encouraged to see how they are an important part in the wastewater process, and how their actions can impact on others and the environment.
  • Participating and contributing – students can become actively involved in securing a sustainable future for their communities by identifying ways of maintaining environmentally friendly water systems.
  • Using language, symbols, and texts – students will uncover the secrets of the processes taking place at the CWTP (Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant).
Learning areas Strands Curriculum level Achievement objectives
Science Planet Earth and Beyond 2 to 4 Describing and investigating systems and their interactions with the water cycle
Science Living World 2 to 6 Identifying elements of life processes and recognising requirments of living things
Science Material World 2 to 6 Observing and investigating chemical properties and changes
Technology Technological Knowledge 2 to 6 Understanding components and relationships in a technological system
Technology Nature of Technology 2 to 6  Understanding the nature of technological outcomes
Social sciences Social Studies 2 to 6 Understanding that people have social responsibilities, make choices to meet their needs and wants, and how interactions with natural environments change over time

"Bringing the information to the children at an understandable level." Teacher, Years 5 and 6

"Great eye opener – got the kids thinking about ‘waste’ at a personal level. Never seen them so animated – multi sensory!" Teacher, Year 6

"Our waste water gets turned into fertiliser. The water gets cleaned. I didn’t realise how much goes into it." Student, Year 6