New: COVID-19 Updates for Distance Learning

We’re taking sewer science online!

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.

The distance learning Sewer Science curriculum uses the sewer science booklet and a series of lab videos to teach the class. SVCW service area high schools may choose to utilize all or part of the curriculum. The Pollution Prevention Specialist can join your class over multiple sessions to help facilitate the program, and we can include a wastewater operator during the final presentation to discuss careers in wastewater. The SVCW portion of the lab can be completed over three synchronous block periods, or equivalent.

For more information about any of the listed classroom curriculum and to schedule a lab at your school, contact Susan Hiestand.

List of Lab Videos*

Video TitleLength (minutes)
Measure Ingredients5:00
Make Wastewater6:19
Analytical Test10:00
Transfer from Primary to Aeration Tank6:00
Secondary Sedimentation3:36
Final Filtration3:45
Wrap Up20:00

*If you would like access to any of the listed videos, please contact Susan Hiestand. A microscope lab is available through Grassroots Ecology.

Plant tours are currently unavailable. Take a virtual tour of the treatment plant here.

Elementary School Programs

SVCW offers two programs for elementary schools within our service area. There is no charge for the programs.

Virtual Classroom Presentations

SVCW staff is available for distance learning presentations. Please contact Susan Hiestand, Pollution Prevention Specialist. 

Our elementary school program includes a brief, age-appropriate program about wastewater treatment and resource recovery, plus a fun, interactive water cycle bracelet activity with the students.

Virtual Assemblies

SVCW continues to sponsor free assemblies in our service area. The assemblies feature ZunZun, a performing arts group that focuses on environmental themes. The interactive show uses song and dance to involve the students in water cycle, storm water, and wastewater education. The program is 45 minutes long and appropriate for grades K-6. Bilingual (Spanish-English) shows are available. All shows meet California State Content Standards in Science, Math, and Fine Arts and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). They offer follow-up activities for continued learning and multiple formats for the virtual assemblies and classroom activities. If you’d like to use these virtual activities below, please contact ZunZun.

  • Livestream
    An exciting 30-minute water themed assembly filled with music, movement, dance and science concepts. This is a live, interactive program meant for multiple classes or an entire school.
  • ZunZun’s Musical Watershed 
    Each water education video is a short segment and includes questions to reinforce learning. Easy to use via Google form.
  • Asynchronous Video Assembly
    Select the water education video segment that works for you and your class! Each segment link combines music, movement and science. 

If your school is in the SVCW service area, please contact ZunZun to schedule a virtual assembly. Sign up early! Assemblies are limited.

Phone: (831) 426-0684

Other Distance Learning Resources

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