AQUATIM – Industrial Water Treatment Plant, Timisoara, Romania

The forgotten (hi)story of the industrial water in Timisoara is now unveiled, in this beautiful turn of the century heritage building. The former Industrial Water Treatment Plant, commissioned in 1916 and closed down in 2007 is open for visiting.

Take a deep breath upon entering the Machine Room and immerse into the past. Learn about the Austro-Hungarian heritage, the golden age of the city and its technical premieres, about the good and less fortunate times of the plant, its first and last customers. Discover the stories of water and the remarkable people who shaped the city and marked its road to the future, among which Laszlo Szekely, chief architect and Stan Vidrighin, founder of the modern water systems of Timisoara.

The plant equipment (pumps, engines, valves etc) is still in place and the old logs are available, so our visitors can literally touch history. The visitors who join our organized tours can discover important clues about the plant in a treasure-hunt game.

For those with an eye for detail, the building is a beautiful representation of industrial Art-Nouveau style that kept some of its original finishes in walls and floors.

Last, but not least, young visitors can find out interesting things about water and environment, at Aquapic, the open air educational center built at the premises. The center offers free learn&play environmental education activities for groups of children accompanied by adults and practically brought the plant back to life.

Itineraries

The green-blue path: Water, Industry and Energy

The Bega canal, running through Timisoara is the main tap water source for its inhabitants, which is common knowledge. Two facts are, however, less known. Once, the canal provided the necessary water for the local factories and workshops. Both now and then, industrial and domestic customers have used power produced by the small hydroelectric plant on Bega.

 

Visit the former industrial water treatment plant and the hydroelectric run-of-the-river plant (1910), still operating. The two “sister” plants were designed by the same architect. Our suggested itinerary links them by a 10 min walk (0,6 km), crossing a small park. You can then stroll along the river bank or take the vaporetto to the city center (Mihai Viteazul stop, http://stpt.ro/vaporetto/).

SERs

Your answer is… in the pipeline

Goal: an entertaining educational game, of general knowledge with specific reference to water, the industrial treatment plant etc

This activity is based on a multiple-choice Q&A game. Questions from various fields and topics (connected with water) – nature, science, culture, ecology etc are goven on coloured cards. Three answers are given on the back of the card. The participants (individuals or teams) choose the correct answer/s. The moderator (teacher or a child) extracts the right answer from a pipe of the same colour as the card.

Groups:5-20

Age: 9-16

Duration: 15-30 min

Water Police Academy

Goal: Raise awareness on saving of water resources, smart consumption, explain and prevent water leaks from interior installations

The children first lear backgroud information, such as domestic water consumption, drinking water treatment and distribution etc through questions and answers. Then, on a special panel, displaying a bath, and equipped with real pipe sections, several valves/taps and a water meter they can visualize consumption and leaks and understand how water loss can be detected and avoided. The fresh water “policemen” are given their first mission: to inspect their pipes/taps at home for leaks. In 2019, this activity was linked to a contest with prizes.

Groups:5-20

Age: 9-12

Duration: 10-15 min

Sewer Waste Fishing

Goal: Prevent sewer pollution, raise envronmental awareness (clean water, energy saving)

This activity is divided in two games. First, children are asked to collect from an installation recipients with materials found in waste water (real cotton buds/pads, textiles, plastic, toilet paper, fake urine and feces) from pipes and decide whether they can or cannot be flushed at the toilet.

Then, on a different installation, they have to fish out all wastes from open plastic pipes and manholes. The installation has no water and both fishing rods and “waste” have magnets attached.

During the activity, new concepts are explained: waste water, sewerage, treatment, water cycle. Examples are given from company’s practice with multi-media tools (photos, clips etc).

Groups:10-20

Age: 5-12

Duration: 15-30 min

Aquapic, Educational Center for children

The educational activities developed within our center are focused on the natural and urban water cycle and building environmental awareness. Every year, new actvities are implemented and the existing ones are further developed. They promote SDG goals with specific reference to best practices for smart use of water resources, keeping the water bodies clean, preventing sewer pollution. In addition, goals no. 3, 4 and 5 referring to education, gender equality, and health are reflected in the structure of the activities and the information presented.