ENVR06079 2018 Secondary Biological Wastewater Treatment

General Details

Full Title
Secondary Biological Wastewater Treatment
Transcript Title
Secondary Biological Wastewate
N/A %
Subject Area
ENVR - Environmental Science
ESCI - Environmental Science
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2018 - Full Academic Year 2018-19
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Brian McCann, Mel Casserly, Noel Connaughton, Ann-Marie Duddy
Programme Membership
SG_SWATE_C06 201800 Higher Certificate in Science in Water and Waste Water Operations SG_SWAST_E06 201900 Certificate in Wastewater Treatment Operations SG_SWATE_C06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Water and Waste Water Operations

This Module informs the learner of the function and design criteria of secondary biological wastewater treatment.  It idescribes the micro-organisms that mediate the transformation of typical water pollutants and how they may be used in different plant configurations to reduce the pollutant load associated wth municipal wastewater. The factors that influence the growth and behaviour of these micro-organisms is also explored together with the importance of monitoring key parameters within the system to minimise operational problems and optimise treatment efficiency. 


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Explain the function and design criteria of biological secondary treatment processes. 


Differentiate between suspended and attached growth systems and their application


Identify and differentiate between the different micro-organisms responsible for biological wastewater treatment and understand the factors that influence their growth and behaviour (e.g. food source, D.O, temperature, pH, etc). Undertake microscopic analysis of MLSS and perform analysis of MLSS, MLVSS, CNP ratio.


Be familiar with and differentiate between key terms and abbreviations used in secondary wastewater treatment


Perform calculations necessary for efficient plant operation and differentiate between different measurement units. Interpret results from the monitoring of a waste water treatment plant and recommend corrective action to remedy operational problems

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered using blended learning techniques. This will include online lectures (via adobe connect or similar), workshops and site visits augmented by directed learning and independent learning. This approach is expected to address student-learning needs. A learning platform such as Moodle will be used to upload educational material (i.e. presentations and recordings of online lectures plus supplementary reading material) and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals). This blended approach (lectures and workshops) brings students together to facilitate group learning’.


Module Assessment Strategies

The module will be assessed by 100% continuous assessment. There will be two MCQ sessions to encourage reading of directed material and engagement with on-line lectures and to provide early feedback to students on progress with their understanding of the subject theory. The second element of CA is an evaluation of practical performance in undertaking laboratory analysis and microscopy and this will be undertaken at the scheduled workshop(s). The third element of CA will be the submission of a short report on site visits undertaken. 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam.’

Indicative Syllabus

-Classification of micro-organisms used for wastewater treatment and growth kinetics

-Factors that influence the growth of micro-organisms (F/M ratio, nutrient requirements, D.O. pH, temperature. etc)

-Biomass growth rate (MLSS and MLVSS) and its measurement

-Microscopy of MLSS

-What happens to Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous when it undergoes secondary biological wastewater treatment.

-Examples of configurations of Activated sludge systems (suspended and attached)

-Process Design Fundamental parameters and meeting ELVs

-Operational issues - bulking (identification and remedies), denitrification, toxic effects, factors affecting treatment efficiency, calculation of removal rates

-Interpret results from the monitoring of the operational stages of a waste water treatment plant and recommend corrective action to remedy operational problems

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 MCQ 1 Continuous Assessment Multiple Choice 20 % Week 4 2,4
2 Performance evaluation in lab Practical Performance Evaluation 30 % Week 8 3
3 Short report/evaluation of site visit Practical Assignment 30 % Week 8 1,4
4 MCQ 2 Continuous Assessment Multiple Choice 20 % Week 11 5

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Not Specified Lectures 1 Weekly 1.00
Directed Learning Not Specified Directed Learning 1 Weekly 1.00
Workshop Not Specified Workshop 2 Twice Per Semester 0.27
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent Learning 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.27 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
03/09/2013 Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Resource Recovery : Treatment and Resource Recovery 5th Ed. McGraw Hill

Module Resources

Journal Resources

1. Environmental Protection Agency (1997) Wastewater Treatment Manuals - Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Treatment

http://www.epa.ie/pubs/advice/water/wastewater/EPA_water_ treatment_manual_primary_secondary_tertiary1.pdf

2. Guidance documents provided by Irish Water.

URL Resources


Other Resources

Bus to transport students to wastewater treatment plants at Workshop  # 1.