Teacher background information
What is wastewater?
For most people wastewater is a hidden part of everyday life. Today just over 2 million people live in the Perth metropolitan area and produce 432 million litres of wastewater every day.
In WA the Water Corporation is largely but not solely responsible for the treatment and disposal of wastewater as they operate more than 100 wastewater treatment facilities around the state.
Wastewater is the spent or used water from a community. It comes from domestic, commercial and industrial sources. The collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater is an integral part of the water cycle that maintains the balance of water in nature.
Wastewater is 99.97% water because by far the greatest volume comes from showers, baths and washing machines. The rest is dissolved and suspended matter. Wastewater also comes from industrial processes.
Keep rubbish out of our wastewater system
Everything you pour down the kitchen sink or any item you put down the toilet doesn't just disappear. It goes through the wastewater system to a treatment plant where it is processed to ensure it can be either reused or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
There are many everyday items that should not enter the wastewater system. Disposing of household waste correctly prevents damage to the wastewater system and helps protect the environment.
Some effects of placing items down the toilet:
they can clog the wastewater system and treatment plant
machinery can break down
people must manually clear the filters which can be dangerous
overflows can occur which harm the environment and be expensive to repair for both Water Corporation and for householders, particularly if the blockage or overflow is on your property.
How to dispose of common household items:
Cooking fats and oils can be poured into a container and binned.
Chemicals should be given to a licensed hazardous wastes contractor or contact your local council.
Food scraps can be placed in the bin or compost.
Newspaper and plastics can be recycled. Contact your local council for more information.
Unused medicines can be returned to pharmacies.
Engine oils can be taken to local garages or oil recycling centres.
Nappies, razors, cotton buds, syringes must be wrapped up and placed in a bin.<
Did you know?
Children’s toys, golf balls and jewellery, are some of the strange items that find their way into toilets!