Wednesday, 8 May 2013

From the bathroom to the bay

Eco-Committee members from years 7-10 went on a visit to Aberthaw Power Station and Cog Moors Wastewater Treatment Plant. The visit was to develop the pupils' understanding of energy, waste and water issues to inform the Eco-Committee's Action Plan.

The day started with an explanation of the mechanics of the power station which incidentally is the same size as 20 Millennium Stadiums.

Pupils then went on a tour around the plant and learnt of recent changes to the power station to ensure it meets stringent environmental regulations. Even though Aberthaw Power Station will always predominantly be a coal fired station, it uses a growing amount of biofuels such as sawdust. It is also developing innovative ways to clean the power station's emissions, such as the world's first sea-water basin used to take the sulphur dioxide out of the flue gas before it is released into the atmosphere.


The visit to Cog Moors Wastewater Treatment Plant was a lot of fun. Pupils followed the journey water takes from the bathroom into the bay - from the second it is clean water used in the bathroom in the morning. Year 7 volunteers were given a big tank of clean water and into it they tipped products that people put down the toilets and sinks - products such as nappies, cotton buds, detergents and fat. Afterwards, the pupils went on a walking tour around the site and saw how those products are filtered out of the water in different stages so that it is clean enough to be pumped into the channel. It is hard to believe that only 15 years ago the plant didn't exist and waste water was being pumped directly into the sea without any filtering at all.


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