Water, water everywhere
Our Year 12 Chemistry students recently travelled to Sydney Water to learn more about chemical monitoring and management.
“We started out the day at Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant, where with our guides Caroline and Rhiannon, we saw first-hand the filtration processes that ensure we get clean and safe drinking water from our taps. We learnt about coagulation, flocculation, filtration and disinfection, and about the different chemicals that are added to our water to ensure it is safe to drink. For example, chlorine is added to disinfect our water, and fluorine added for public health.
We then got back on the bus and travelled to St Mary’s Water Recycling Education Centre. We did mix and match activities to learn the relevant chemical equations, and did interactive activities including electronic kiosks to learn about the important process of reverse osmosis. Then we toured the wastewater plant, which was very interesting and we discussed the processes that would be implemented in the case of a drought and the safety precautions with storing and using dangerous chemicals.
Finally, we finished the day with a practical task where we were able to use their testing equipment on samples of water. We had to try discover whether our sample was from a farming area, mountain stream, stream near a mine, ocean, or tap water. By testing the acidity, electrical conductivity, levels of nitrate and phosphate, turbidity and temperature we were able to deduce our water had come from a clean mountain stream.
Overall, the day was very beneficial as we were able to see real world applications of chemistry and understand the processes relating to water quality.”
Emily, Jess and Nina (Year 12)