It may not sound like the most glamorous day out, but members of the public can come tour Didcot sewage treatment works, which guarantees to be a fascinating - although somewhat fragrant experience!
Didcot sewage treatment works will be opening its doors to the public to take a tour around the facilities Sunday 2 June.
Deena McKinney, Thames Water’s education executive, who will be leading the tour, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming people to the site, and showing our customers what happens to waste water after it leave their homes. The open days are always extremely popular, and visitors are amazed to see just how big an impact the things they pour and flush away have on our equipment and the environment. We hope lots of people will come and join us for the behind-the-scenes tour.”
Visitors will be reminded that only pee, poo and toilet paper are suitable for flushing down the toilet, and will witness first-hand how unflushable items, like wet wipes and sanitary products, can clog up machinery at the site. The water company asks its customers to ‘Bin it – don’t block it’, to prevent blockages and fatbergs, and help to protect the environment.
The tour will follow the different stages of the treatment process, including how solid matter is filtered out of waste water to make ‘sludge’. This is then heated at high temperatures to produce gas to help power the sewage works, which provides waste water services for around 37,000 people in and around Didcot.
Previous open day visitor, Jane Strathdee, said: “We really enjoyed our visit and found the whole tour absolutely fascinating. The staff were extremely knowledgeable and explained the waste treatment process clearly. We’d definitely recommend a visit!”
Places are limited and were booked up quickly last year, so anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
The address to Didcot sewage treatment works is Basil Hill Road, DIDCOT , OX11 7HJ.
As part of its 2020-25 business plan, Thames Water aims to increase access to operational sites, a further open day is already planned at Didcot sewage works for Saturday August 31.
If you have any questions about the tour, feel free to leave me a comment!
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TeenTech Surrey Three of the Education team delivered a day of interactive workshops with students aged 13 and 14 at TeenTech Surrey last month, an event that seeks to inspire young people about careers in Science and Technology. TeenTech is the brainchild of Maggie Philbin of Tomorrow’s World fame (those under 40 reading this will say ‘who?’ but she is an icon of the early 1980’s for me!) whose aim is to get young people to ‘dream big’ and consider what they would like to see the in the future of tech. What ideas can change the world we live in for the better? Thames Water, one of a number of businesses present on the day, was part of the Challenge Zone activity session, where we discussed the importance of water and innovating to ensure we face the challenges we need to address as a business. Then, in teams, the students had to work together to put together a water network, using our award winning Network Challenge – on a very tight time schedule. It’s always interesting, fun and sometimes also funny working with young people; it’s why we love our jobs so much! But I think we sent them away thinking about how we can all use water more wisely and remembering how lucky we are to have our water ‘on tap’ If you're a parent, educator or just interested in learning more about our education programme, drop us a line here on the community! We're always happy to help answer any questions!
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We also talk to schools about the three ps - poo, pee and (toilet) paper, which we LOVE to go down the sewers, but not really anything else! Have a look at our school pages www.thameswater.co.uk/schools to see what we are doing with our younger customers :)
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