Excursion requests

Come behind the scenes and see how we protect public health by providing you safe, clean drinking water.

Ever wondered about how we use the latest technology to treat wastewater and keep our rivers and beaches clean?

Our qualified teachers and industry professionals will help you discover your role in sustainable water management and give you tips to improve our city’s liveability.

All our programs are free of charge and most are syllabus linked.

Do you want to arrange an excursion?
Request an excursion
today.

What do we offer?

Program Locations Run time Need to know
HSC Chemistry
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant and St Marys Water Recycling Plant
5 hours Dual site tour
  • Syllabus linked
  • Learn about water filtration and membrane technology
  • See reverse osmosis membranes
  • Hands on activities, including water quality testing
  • Includes a walking tour
  • Worksheets provided
Learn more about high school programs.
HSC Earth and Environmental Science
  • St Marys Water Recycling Plant
4 hours
  • Syllabus linked
  • Learn how we apply basic separation techniques to wastewater treatment
  • Hands on activities, including water separation
  • Includes a walking tour
  • Worksheets provided
Learn more about high school programs.
HSC Biology
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant
5 hours
  • Syllabus linked
  • Learn about water filtration and the multi barrier approach
  • Hands on activities, including using a microscope
  • Includes a walking tour
  • Worksheets provided
Learn more about high school programs. 
Preliminary Senior Science
  • St Marys Water Recycling Plant
3 hours
  • Syllabus linked
  • Learn about wastewater treatment and water recycling
  • Includes a walking tour
  • Worksheets provided
Learn more about high school programs. 
Stage 4 Science
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant (drinking water only)
  • St Marys Water Recycling Plant (wastewater only)
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant and St Marys Water Recycling Plant (dual site program - drinking water and wastewater)
2 hours for single site programs

5 hours for dual site programs
  • Syllabus linked
  • Learn about water filtration (Orchard Hills only)
  • Learn about wastewater treatment and water recycling (St Marys only)
  • Learn about the whole water cycle (dual site program)
  • Includes a walking tour
  • Hands on activities
  • Worksheets provided
Learn more about high school programs. 
Stage 4 Geography
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant (drinking water only)
  • St Marys Water Recycling Plant (wastewater only)
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant and St Marys Water Recycling Plant (dual site program - drinking water and wastewater)

4 hours for single site programs

5 hours for dual site programs 
  • Syllabus linked
  • Learn about water filtration (Orchard Hills only)
  • Learn about wastewater treatment and water recycling (St Marys only)
  • Learn about the whole urban water cycle (dual site program)
  • Includes a walking tour
  • Hands on activities
  • Worksheets provided
Learn more about high school programs.
General science
  • St Marys Water Recycling Plant
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant
  • Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant
  • Wollongong Water Recycling Plant
  • Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant
2 hours
  • Stage 4 and 5 science related content
  • Learn about wastewater treatment and water recycling
  • Learn about water filtration (Orchard Hills only)
  • Includes a walking tour
Learn more about high school programs. 
General geography
  • St Marys Water Recycling Plant
  • Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant
  • Wollongong Water Recycling Plant
  • Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant
2 hours
  • Stage 4 and 5 geography related content
  • Learn about wastewater treatment and water recycling
  • Includes a walking tour
Learn more about high school programs.
Technical tour (tertiary and professionals, community)
  • St Marys Water Recycling Plant
  • Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant
  • Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant
  • Wollongong Water Recycling Plant
  • Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant
2 hours
  • Presentation and walking tour
  • Technical content
Learn more about tertiary and professional programs. 
We have a range of sites available for excursions. Availability depends on site conditions and may change from time to time.

Site Address Learn about Need to know
St Marys Water Recycling Plant Gate 4,
Links Road St Marys
  • Tertiary wastewater treatment
  • Producing recycled water for irrigation
  • Environmental discharge to creek
  • Beneficial reuse of solids
  • Ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis technology
  • There is no disabled access.
Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant The Chase,
Orchard Hills
  • Drinking water filtration
  • Water quality
Participants must be able to:
  • climb several large sets of grid style stairs (see through)
  • walk at heights.
There is no disabled access.
Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant Mile End Road,
Rouse Hill
  • Tertiary wastewater treatment
  • Producing recycled water for residential reuse
  • Environmental discharge to wetlands
  • Beneficial reuse of solids
Participants must be able to:
  • climb several large sets of grid style stairs (see through)
  • walk at heights.
There is no disabled access.
 
Wollongong Water Recycling Plant Port Kembla Road,
Wollongong
  • Tertiary wastewater treatment
  • Producing recycled water for irrigation and industry reuse
  • Discharge to ocean
  • Beneficial reuse of solids
  • Co-generation electricity
  • Micro-filtration and reverse osmosis technology
Participants must be able to:
  • climb several large sets of grid style stairs (see through)
  • walk at heights.
There is no disabled access.
Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant 284-286 Captain Cook Drive,
North Cronulla
  • Tertiary wastewater treatment
  • Discharge to ocean
  • Beneficial reuse of solids
  • Co-generation electricity
Participants must be able to:
  • climb several large sets of grid style stairs (see through)
  • walk at heights.
There is no disabled access.
North Head Wastewater Treatment Plant Bluefish Road,
Manly
  • Primary treatment
  • Discharge to ocean
  • Co-generation electricity
  • Beneficial reuse of solids
  • Large-scale engineering
  • Part of the walking tour involves taking a lift down 60 m underground.
  • In the unlikely event of an evacuation from underground the evacuation route has over 300 steep stairs (15 minutes of continuous stair climb).
  • There is no disabled access.

What do you need to know?

What is the booking process?

  1. Read about our programs.
  2. Request an excursion online.
  3. Our bookings coordinator will be in touch to finalise your booking.
  4. We’ll send you the confirmation documents.
  5. Sign your documents and send them back to us to confirm your booking.

What is the cost?
All our excursion programs are free. You’ll just need to cover the cost of your own transport.

What are the terms and conditions?
Read our Excursion terms and conditions before you request an excursion.

Who will provide a school risk assessment?
Read our Excursion risks and controls for everything you need to prepare your school risk assessment.

What is the minimum number of participants?
You need a minimum of 10 participants to book an excursion program, but small groups are welcome to book a program together. To make this easier, we’ve set aside some special dates when small groups can join our most popular programs.

To find out the dates, request an excursion or find out more, email us at education@sydneywater.com.au.

What happens during a mixed program?
You can bring mixed groups, but we'll only deliver one set of program content. For example, if you bring Earth and Environmental Science students on a Chemistry program, we'll only teach chemistry. 

Because the needs of the two subjects are very different and could involve visiting different sites, we recommend booking two separate programs.

You’re welcome to book these programs on the same day so the group can travel together on the same bus to the two different sites. We’ve provided some examples in the table below.
 
You’ll need to meet the minimum number requirements for each group and make the necessary arrangements with your bus company.

Group mix What to book What to arrange with your bus company
Chemistry and Earth and Environmental Science students 9.00 am HSC Chemistry program and
9.30 am HSC Earth and Environmental Science Program
  1. Bus drops Chemistry students at Orchard Hills for their 9.00 am start.
  2. Bus drives Earth and Environmental Science students to St Marys and drops them off for their 9.30 am start.
  3. Bus returns to Orchard Hills to pick up Chemistry students at the end of the first half of their program.
  4. Bus drives Chemistry students to St Marys for the second half of their program.
  5. Both Chemistry and Earth and Environmental Science students finish at St Marys and leave together.
Chemistry and Biology students 9:00 am HSC Biology program and
9.00 am HSC Chemistry program
 
  1. Bus drives both Chemistry and Biology students to Orchard Hills for their 9.00 am start.
  2. Bus drives Chemistry students to St Marys for the second half of their program.
  3. Bus returns to Orchard Hills to pick up Biology students at the end of their program.
  4. Bus drives Biology students to St Marys to pick up Chemistry students at the end of their program and the two groups leave together from St Marys.
Earth and Environmental Science and Biology 9:00 am HSC Biology program and
9.30 am HSC Earth and Environmental Science Program
  1. Bus drops Biology students at Orchard Hills for their 9.00 am start.
  2. Bus drives Earth and Environmental Science students to St Marys and drops them off for their 9.30 am start. Bus stays on site until the group finishes their program.
  3. Bus returns to Orchard Hills with the Earth and Environmental students to pick up Biology students at the end of their program.
  4. All students leave from Orchard Hills together.

When can we eat lunch and have breaks?
Programs longer than three hours include time for lunch breaks and travel time between sites (for dual site programs only).

Programs with run times of three hours or less don't include break time.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled start time to allow for bathroom visits and settling in, particularly for large groups.

When can you visit the sites?
Our sites are only open for excursions during the week within designated time slots. We don't offer weekend tours.

How can you include a tour of Warragamba Dam?
We run joint tours with WaterNSW so you can visit Warragamba Dam in the morning and then follow the water's journey to Orchard Hills Water Filtration Plant in the afternoon. To make a booking, please contact WaterNSW.

How can you tour the desalination plant?
Please contact Sydney Desalination Plant directly to request a tour.
 
Our Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant is just down the road from the desalination plant. Why not visit both in one day?

Alternatively, you can take a virtual tour of the desalination plant.

What happens if it’s raining or too hot?
If it’s very hot, raining or has been raining for a long time before your tour, it may not be safe to complete the walking tour. Your Education Officer will negotiate alterations to the program to make sure you still get the most out of your visit. Some alternatives may be:

  • complete a shorter tour or tour the undercover areas only (if safe)
  • use animations, videos or a virtual tour to explain the treatment processes
  • complete a hands on activity relevant to your subject.

What should you bring?

  • Food and drink as required
  • Refillable drink bottle
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Warm clothing for cooler days
  • Pen or pencil
  • Portable first aid kit (1 per group)


What should you wear?

Everyone must wear sturdy, fully enclosed, flat soled shoes (no open shoes such as sandals, thongs or ballet flats).

We strongly recommend that participants wear long sleeves and long pants, well-fitting hats and sunscreen.

What can students wear?
We strongly recommend that participants wear long sleeves and long pants, well-fitting hats and sunscreen. However, we'll accept school and sports uniforms.

Everyone must wear sturdy, fully enclosed, flat soled shoes (no open shoes such as sandals, thongs or ballet flats).

Who will provide worksheets?
If a worksheet is included in your program, we’ll provide it on the day.

Who can eat on site?
You can eat and drink inside the Education Centre. Bring your own food and drink. There are no food outlets on the site.

For hygiene reasons you can’t carry a drink bottle or food with you during the walking tour.

What’s the best way to get to the sites?
Our sites are industrial in nature and are not easily accessed by public transport. For example, St Marys Water Recycling Plant is a 45 minute walk from St Marys Station.

The best way to visit us is by bus/coach or car.

Where is parking available?
There's parking on site for the bus/coach.

There's limited parking available at all sites for cars so we ask you to consider carpooling if possible.

Where can the bus/coach driver stay?
The driver can stay on site if they stay with their vehicle.

They’re also welcome to pop in to use the bathrooms and make a cup of tea or coffee.

What if you’re late?
If you’re more than 15 minutes late, please call the Education Hotline 1800 724 650.

Since we may have bookings straight after yours, we may not be able to extend your program to make up lost time. Your Education Officer will negotiate alterations to the program with you.

What happens if it’s raining or too hot?
If it’s very hot, raining or has been raining for a long period of time before your tour, it may not be safe to go outside or complete the whole tour. Your Education Officer will negotiate alterations to the program to make sure you still get the most out of your visit. Some alternatives may include:

  • completing a shorter tour or tour the undercover areas only (if available)
  • use animations, videos or a virtual tour to explain the treatment processes
  • completing a hands on activity relevant to your subject.

Who can carry personal belongings on the walking tour?
Everyone can bring bags and other belongings inside the Education Centre.

You won't be allowed to carry any items with you on the walking tour. This includes cameras, phones, handbags, drink bottles, notepads and clipboards.

Teachers and group leaders will be allowed to carry their mobile phone and a portable first aid kit.

When can you take photos?
For safety and security reasons you won’t be allowed to take photos during the walking tour.

If you’d like to take a group photo to remember your visit, our Education Officers can take you to a safe spot and help you take a photo.