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Whitsunday Regional Council today trialled the first school visit to the Proserpine Water Treatment Plant and Cannonvale Sewage Treatment Plant, as part of a broader education program of Council’s water and sewage infrastructure.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said 48 students from Year 7 at St Catherine’s Catholic College today visited both plants to learn more about how their water is delivered and how their waste is processed.
“Council and ultimately the community have recently spent $108 million on new Water and Sewage Treatment Plants, which include state-of-the-art technology, I think it’s important that school students and members of the community get to see these plants at work,” she said.
“While visiting the Proserpine Water Treatment Plant the school students learnt about how rawwater is treated before it goes through kilometres of infrastructure to be delivered to their taps asdrinking water.
“The purification processes were explained to students including the removal of bugs like giardiaand Ecoli, metals such as iron and manganese, disinfecting the water with Sodium Hypochlorate, reducing calcium and controlling the pH.
“At the Cannonvale Sewage Treatment Plant students saw how raw sewage is treated with state-of-the-art technology including membrane technology, enhanced biological nutrient removal, chemical nutrient removal and mechanical sludge dewatering.
“It was also explained that the discharge from the new plant is now so pure it is almost drinkingquality and exceeds the most stringent effluent discharge requirements to protect the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.
Mayor Whitney said as well as being a valuable chemistry lesson for the school students it wasalso a great lesson in explaining Council infrastructure and expenditure.
“We hope this will be the first of many school student visits, with the Council planning to inviteschools from across the region to do similar tours,” she said.
“This is a valuable educational tool for our region, as it has been identified that there are not many local options for school field trips in the immediate region.
“The visits can be catered for students of all ages, with interactive demonstrations and material to take home.
“Council is also planning community open days at the Proserpine Water Treatment in the coming months,” she said.
Council will also negotiate with Tenix, the manager of the Cannonvale Sewage Treatment Plant, to see if community open days can be facilitated at this site.
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