Let's learn about wastewater

Learn about how wastewater is treated once it leaves your home.

Child wrapped in towel after bath

Once you've had a look at the treatment process, why not watch our education team talking to you about how we can all work together to keep our sewers clear. This prevents blockages and stops homes being damaged from sewer flooding. Let's see what happens when you put a wet wipe down the toilet...

Activity 1

Flushing wipes blocks pipes

Why not have a go at the wet wipe experiment and see the results for yourself.

  • Get 2 water bottles
  • Fill them with water
  • Add 1 sheet of toilet paper to one bottle and 1 wipe to the other
  • Tighten the lids and give them both a good shake for 30 seconds
  • Let them stand for a moment…what do you notice?
  • Take off the lid, pour them into a bowl, what’s the toilet paper like? How about the wipe?
  • Can you now see why we shouldn’t flush our wipes?
  • Remember - put the wipe in the bin at the end of your experiment. The toilet paper can be safely flushed away

Activity 2

Feed birds not fatbergs!

Tipping fat down the drain causes blockages. Even if it is nice and runny when it comes out of the oven, it soon hardens or turns to a jelly-like consistency in the sewers. This coats the inside of the pipes and soon causes a big problem. These lumps of fat and grease in the sewers are called fatbergs! Instead of tipping fat down the drain, pour it carefully into a jar or tin, and then dispose of it in the rubbish.

Alternatively, you can make unsalted fat into a tasty treat for your neighbourhood birds:

  • Get some old yoghurt pots, paper cake cases, or other small containers (you could even cut a small drink bottle in half).
  • Poke a small hole in the bottom of the pot and thread a piece of string through for hanging. You can also pop these out and put them straight onto a bird table or into a bird feeder.
  • Gather some food that your birds might like to eat. Birdseed is best, but they also like grated cheese, cooked rice, oats, chopped nuts and small pieces of fruit like apples. Check on the internet if you aren’t sure.
  • Put all your food into a bowl and add your melted fat. You can keep the fat in the fridge until you have enough.
  • Give the mixture a good stir, then spoon into your containers.
  • Press down hard and pop in the fridge to set.
  • Put them somewhere your birds can find them and watch from your window. See how many different birds you can spot.

Activity 3

Numptee is Yorkshire Water’s animated character who doesn’t know what to do with all his unwanted items.

Watch our clips below and follow our new character Numptee as we try to educate him in disposing of his waste correctly.

Now why don’t you see if you can draw up a storyboard for our next episode of Numptee? Maybe it could be clearing up after a birthday party or a family barbeque.

Or how about designing a poster telling others where waste should go.

Make a list of the things you can recycle at home, does everyone ‘do their bit’?

There is also our activity booklet and an activity you could do on pages 10-11 Do’s and Don’ts, Bin, Recycle or Tip