Teacher CPD It's only water

Our Science Behind series is a continuous professional development programme for teachers.

Lower Laithe Reservoir

Are you about to embark on teaching the water topic?

So, we know you are up to speed on the water cycle, but the bit between it going into the reservoirs and rivers and coming out of our taps is maybe a bit fuzzy?

Fear not, we are here to help!

With our ‘Science Behind’ series, you can sit with a cuppa and learn all about what we do.

Now just a word of caution – these films aren’t really for showing to a primary school audience, so if you would like some help with delivering the water topic, take a look at our education pages as we have a range of programmes available (and they are all free!)

Episode 1 – Why give a dam about reservoirs?

In episode one of our brand-new series; The Science Behind. We meet up with Granville Davies (Manager of Water & Catchment Strategy) to find out why it’s so important that we give a damn about reservoirs. We’ll also provide an in-depth look at how reservoirs work, what a catchment is and why building more reservoirs might not be the answer to stop climate change.



Why not get inspired and take a walk at the weekend?

Find a reservoir near you

Episode 2 - How do we look after our reservoirs?

In episode two of The Science Behind. Resource Engineer Tom Young explains how reservoirs work and the important role they play in the water that comes out of our taps. We’ll also take you on a tour of Broomhead reservoir, show you the important work in maintaining our dams and why swimming in reservoirs isn't a good idea.



Don’t forget, we deliver regular live events on water safety, so it doesn’t matter which half term you are teaching, you will always be able to access one of our sessions.  

Find out more about our live events

Episode 3 - What's a water tower and how do they work?

The water that comes out of our taps is often fed by gravity, but what happens if you live in an area that’s flat? In episode 3 of the Science Behind, Kristian Griffin (Field Operations Manager) explains the important role water towers play in supplying our customers with water.


Episode 4 - What is groundwater?

Do you know where our drinking water comes from?    

  • 45% is from reservoirs   
  • 33% is from rivers   
  • 22% is from groundwater   

The earliest accounts of groundwater being used dates back at least 8,000 years and we still use it today to supply customers in some areas of Yorkshire. In episode four of The Science Behind, Hydrologist Paul Speight gives us an in-depth look at how and why we use groundwater. Along the way we’ll see stunning examples of Victorian infrastructure and the different sites we use to extract the water from the ground.


Episode 5 - A tour of a water treatment works

In Episode 5 of the Science Behind, Chris Dingley (Process Engineer) takes us on a tour of a water treatment works. You’ll not only get to see a step-by-step guide for how we treat raw water, but also see how Victorian engineering is still being used today.



Did you know, we offer free visits to schools to our water treatment works at Headingley (Leeds) and Ewden (North Sheffield).  As you can imagine, our sessions are very popular, so we recommend booking early!  Not your usual trip and one the children will remember for a very long time! 

Visit Headlingley

Visit Ewden

Episode 6 - Why do we have pumping stations?

Have you ever wondered how clean water travels from our treatment works to customers’ taps? Well, have no fear as all will be explained in this episode of the Science Behind. Field Operations Manager Kristian is back to take us (and our Project Manager Justine) on a tour of a pumping station. He'll explain how it works, why its geography is important and how much energy is needed to power those pumps.


Episode 7 - Why save water?

It’s August 2022 and the UK has had its driest spell for 40 years, which is made worse by the fact that we’re using nearly twice as much water as we were 60 years ago, and we’ve had the highest demand in 15 years.

In this episode of the Science Behind we find out how less rain and higher water usage is impacting the environment, how climate change is impacting weather patterns and what we can all do to save water. We’ll first go to Thruscross reservoir to meet Resource Engineer Tom who shows us how we check the reservoir levels and move water around the region. Then we’ll go to the River Ouse to meet Granville (Manager of Water & Catchment Strategy) who’ll explain river abstraction and let us know his top water saving tips.



Episode 8 - How does Wastewater Treatment work?

Every day we collect and treat over a billion litres of wastewater from Yorkshire’s homes and businesses, including rainwater that falls on roofs and roads. But how we do wastewater treatment plants work? In our latest episode of the Science Behind Guy & Nicola (our Community Engagement Team Leader) will take you a tour around Knostrop Wastewater Treatment Works with the site’s Product and Process Manager, Mitch. We look at how much waste we treat on a daily basis for one of our cities and how large Jacuzzis help with the cleaning process.


Episode 9 - Ai for Water

Episode 10 - Sustainable agriculture

Episode 11 - Water Treatment in Action

Episode 12 - How we're working to improve Yorkshire's bathing water

We hope you found this information useful.

Time to check out our exciting programmes now on the education pages.

From school visits, to outreach sessions in schools to our TEAM LIVE lessons with classes from around Yorkshire (and sometimes the UK), we have something for everyone.

Got a question? Just get in touch with us at education@yorkshirewater.co.uk.