Silicon Valley Clean Water
Sewer Science is a comprehensive high school science laboratory that teaches students about municipal wastewater treatment using specially designed tanks and standard testing equipment. Initiated in 1998, the award-winning Sewer Science program is used in numerous California school districts, reaching students throughout the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. This program presents a unique opportunity to present the wide variety of careers that are available in the wastewater industry. SVCW currently presents Sewer Science in high schools within its service area, and reaches about 1,500 students each year.
New: COVID-19 Updates for Distance Learning
We're taking sewer science online! Select one or more of the activities below to create your curriculum for all or part of the lab. Recorded sections of the lab will be available, as are the asynchronous kitchen labs and the John Snow, Broad Street Pump epidemic study that was the impetus for beginning the treatment of wastewater over 100 years ago. Select activities to teach the sewer science concepts including density and buoyancy, microscopes, water quality testing, and filtration.
Activity 1 - Coming Soon Making the wastewater and primary sedimentation and floatation (video lesson)
Activity 2 - Density Experiment - Students learn about density and buoyancy through a hands-on lab they can do with things found in the kitchen. The lab is modeled after the first day of the sewer science lab, which simulates the first stage of wastewater treatment: primary sedimentation. Download the lab instructions here:HS-Density Experiment.pdf.
Activity 3 - Coming Soon Water Quality Testing
Activity 4 - Coming Soon Secondary Treatment – using aeration and microorganisms to clean the water
Activity 5 - Microorganisms Under the Microscope (schools will need to supply fold scopes to students) Collect a water sample from a local creek to look at under the foldscope, or follow the instructions in this video to search for water bears.
Activity 6 - Coming Soon Secondary Sedimentation (video lesson)
Activity 7 - Coming Soon Filtration (video lesson)
Activity 8 - Coming Soon Final Presentation: Wastewater Treatment Overview and Careers (video or presentation to class)
Activity 9 - Coming Soon Cholera Study: John Snow and the Broad Street Pump