Last week the Newman Senior Technical College Year 11 Electrotechnology students visited Port Macquarie Hastings Council asset sites, to gain an understanding of programmable logic control PLC’s and relay switchboard control. They achieved this by visiting the Sewerage Treatment Plant and the Port Dam Facility.

We were hosted by Dave King at the Sewerage Treatment Plant and given an informative tour of the entire operation, from when you flush the toilet to when it’s treated and ending up in Kooloonbung Creek. The students gained valuable knowledge on control circuits for a wide variety of different sized pumps, filtration and aeration equipment.

We then ventured over to the Port Dam Storage and Distribution Facility where we were hosted by Senior Electrical Supervisor Gavin Lunn. Gavin took as through the council owned high voltage switch yard, which transforms 330,000 volts down to 33,000 volts to operate the main pumps to supply fresh water to all of Port Macquarie and the Camden Haven area. The students were then taken through the operation program or SCADA network of the remote operation of the pumps and valve control for the water distribution network.

Students took on the basic premise, that without Electricians, Plumbers, Mechanical Fitters and Control Operators, we would not have a functioning water and sewerage network. Touching on the diversity of the trade skills that can be acquired and the broad scope, within the job market, for such bright enthusiastic young tradesman.