Sun, 29 May 2005

Touring the Poo Farm

It was open day yesterday at Melbourne Water's Western Treament Plant in Werribee. Or, as it's more commonly known, the Poo Farm. One of Lozz's friends is an education officer at the Farm so we tagged along on one of the tours. All I can say is: "fascinating stuff".

  • Open sewage channels aren't as gross as they sound. It mostly looks like storm water, as it's not just toilet flushings but shower and kitchen water too.
  • Although you can still see the occasional used condom floating past to remind you of what you're looking at.
  • Oh right, and it stinks. But hey, it's sewage!
  • The old filtration ponds are home to the second-biggest diversity of birdlife in Australia and form one of the world's most significant wetlands.
  • The Farm also raises some of happiest, fattest sheep and cattle I've seen in Victoria. Because, of course, they have access to as much recycled water as they care to use. Word is they were banned from entering their animals in the Melbourne show because other farmers simply couldn't compete.
  • Development plans are currently in action to make the recycled water available to the wider population (which, unfortunately, will require a whole lot of pumping). They also plan for the whole plant to be energy-sufficient by burning more of the methane that is produced.

Unfortunately the plant isnt open for tours to the general public, except on Open Days such as last weekend. Usually, only shoolgroups get to see the wonders of poo treatment. I can only imagine what it must be like to take a bus full of schoolkids on a tour all about poo...