Trip to Headingley Water Treatment Works

Forms 3 and 4 put on their hard hats and hi-vis for a trip to Headingley Water Treatment Works.

We were first introduced to the water cycle and found out where the water we use every day comes from.

We then learnt about the ‘Baddies in the Works’ and how the Treatment Works removes them to keep our drinking water safe. We sat in front of an interactive board where we watched the bad germs and unsafe ‘gang’ of baddies meet their fate as they tried to survive being cleaned out of the Water Treatment Works.

In groups, we were taken on a tour of the site to see how they turn dirty water into clean water. The water was gushing out into large tanks which made it really noisy. There were only two people working on the plant when we visited as it runs mostly on computers.

In the classroom, we took it in turns to act out what happens if a pipe leaks underneath the road. We dressed up in hi-vis jackets and hard hat helmets and were given specific job roles to demonstrate the different tasks in the process of fixing a leaking pipe. It was really fun and interactive getting to fix the pipe.

Drilling down to the pipe

Drilling down to reach the pipe

Assessing the pipe

Assessing the pipe


Through looking at different ways we use water every day, we then learnt if we were water savers: who turns taps off and shower quickly, or water wasters: who leave taps running, and stay in the shower too long. Some of us didn’t realise that water costs money to use! It definitely made us think about the different ways to stop wasting water.

After lunch, we had a lesson comparing the Ethiopian community with where we live in Yorkshire and how we access water. It was really eye-opening to learn about communities like the villages in Ethiopia that have to travel miles to access clean water when we’re fortunate enough to get it from the taps in our house, or in a bottle from the shops.

We then learnt about the work of WaterAid and all they do to help make sure there is clean, safe drinking water for communities all around the world.

Baddies in the Water!

Baddies in the Water!

Tour of the noisy site

Tour of the noisy site

Posing with a 'baddie'

Posing with a ‘baddie’

Our visit to Headingley Water Treatment Works was a lot of fun. It was great exploring this giant plant and learning about the environment and what we can do to prevent water wastage, and how organisations like WaterAid are helping keep other communities around the world safe.