Students dance in the rain for World Environment Day

Date: 30/05/2002

Over 650 primary school students from the Penrith region will don raincoats on World Environment Day on Wednesday, June 5, 2002, when one of the largest rainfall simulators in the world is demonstrated at Werrington Lakes.

The simulator, developed by researchers at the University of Western Sydney, will create rainstorms to educate the students and the community about the effects of pollution in Sydney's catchments.

Professor Steven Riley, Head of the UWS School of Engineering and Industrial Design, says the demonstration will be a hands-on experience for students and the community to understand how polluted runoff reduces the quality of water.

"Seeing the rainfall simulator in action is a direct way for people to understand the importance of cleaning up our waterways and keeping them clean," Professor Riley says.

"It's great for school students to take an active interest in storm water management and the effects of urban development on the environment."

Designed by UWS researchers Professor Steven Riley, Dr Paul Hackney and Dr Surendra Shrestha, the simulator has also been used to demonstrate the value of road sealing carried out as part of the Blue Mountains Urban Runoff Control Program.

With a modular design and innovative four-nozzle system, the rainfall simulator is able to create rainstorms on site to demonstrate the need for various sediment control practices and storm water management.

Twenty other environmental activities organised by Penrith City Council will include water reuse, water conservation and quality monitoring, recycling and indigenous environmental heritage.

Penrith City Mayor Pat Sheehy says the day will provide the next generation with the learning experiences about their environment and raise awareness about the needs of the environment.

"These activities will be a fun way for children and the local community to learn how they can help the environment," Councillor Sheehy says.

Councillor Pat Sheehy and deputy Mayor Jackie Greenow will also present the school students with World Environment Day certificates.

Schools involved are: Orchard Hills Public School, St Marys Public School, Samuel Terry Public School, Mulgoa Public School, Londonderry Public School, Kingswood Public School and Jamisontown Public School.

The World Environment Day activities will be open to the public from 2pm to 3pm.

For more information about the rainfall simulator, contact Professor Steven Riley on 02 9852 5731.

For more information about Penrith City Council events for World Environment Day, contact Craig Butler Environmental Planning Manager 02 4732 7526.

WHERE: Werrington Lakes, Harold Corr Hall, Cottage Street, Werrington.

WHEN: June 5, 2002

SCHOOL STUDENTS: 10am-12pm and 12-2pm


For electronic photos of the rainfall simulator or requests for interviews at the University of Western Sydney, please contact Media Officer Suzie Vlaming, 02 9678 7429 or 0414 308 701, email