WATR06016 2021 Wastewater Treatment

General Details

Full Title
Wastewater Treatment
Transcript Title
Wastewater Treatment
N/A %
Subject Area
WATR - Water Studies
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
06 - NFQ Level 6
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2021 - Full Academic Year 2021-22
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Ann-Marie Duddy, Brian McCann, Mel Casserly, Noel Connaughton, Salem Gharbia
Programme Membership
SG_SWATE_C06 202100 Higher Certificate in Science in Water and Waste Water Operations SG_SWAST_E06 202100 Certificate in Wastewater Treatment Operations

This module introduces the learner to the key principles, concepts and systems that relate to municipal wastewater treatment processes, and provides an overview of wastewater characteristics, quantities, flow variation and treatment options for various population equivalents. It also includes an introduction to wastewater sampling and testing, and plant operation and monitoring. The module also highlights the potential contribution of wastewater discharges to the pollution of receiving water bodies. In addition, this module informs the learner of the function and design criteria of secondary biological wastewater treatment.  The module describes 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 with municipal wastewater. This module will also explore the factors that influence the growth and behaviour of these micro-organisms 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;


Demonstrate current knowledge of the characteristics, concentrations and varying quantities of wastewater influent from various population equivalents to municipal wastewater treatment plants.


Report effectively on the typical systems, processes, stages and options suitable for the treatment of wastewater collected from municipal sources for various population equivalents, including the ability to explain the function and design criteria of biological secondary treatment processes. 


Describe and perform sampling, testing, and monitoring protocols relating to the efficient and sustainable operation of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Identify and differentiate between the different micro-organisms responsible for biological wastewater treatment and understand the factors that influence their growth and behaviour.


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


Appreciate the potential impact of wastewater discharges on receiving water quality and to meet compliance requirements, and understand the licencing and certification and authorisation process for public and private wastewater treatment plants.


Determine methods of optimising and enhancing treatment plant performance to meet effluent discharge limits and achieve sustainable operation.

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. A learning platform such as Moodle will be used to upload educational material and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes and uploading assignments). This blended approach (lectures and workshops) brings students together to facilitate group learning’ and it will incorporate elements of enquiry and project-based learning along with practical laboratory demonstrations, group laboratory practicals, and guest lecturers. 

Module Assessment Strategies

Final written examination and continuous assessment consisting of two Moodle MCQ assessment (multiple choice quiz), a workshop laboratory practical, and an individual practical assignment involving a written report. 

Repeat Assessments

The learner must undertake repeat final written examination and/or continuous assessment project work depending on the particular failed element to achieve an overall pass grade.

Module Dependencies

WATR06002 201800 Water and Wastewater Science Module

Indicative Syllabus

- Wastewater parameters and characteristics, including the wastewater quantities, population equivalent, and flow variation.

- Municipal wastewater treatment plant processes, stages and systems for various population equivalents.

- Sampling, testing and monitoring procedures and protocols.

- Impact of wastewater discharges to receiving water bodies. River Basin Management Plans and Water Framework Directive compliance.

- EPA Wastewater Discharge Authorisation process. WWTP licencing and certification procedures. Discharges from private WWTPs.

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

- 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.

- Treatment plant optimisation, operational and maintenance practices and systems to improve performance and sustainable operation. Routine and long-term maintenance and operational procedures and schedules.

- Introduction to wastewater sludge treatment and disposal.

- Effluent discharge sampling, testing and monitoring requirements to meet plant discharge authorisation and Water Framework Directive requirements. 

- Plant management and caretaking duties and practices. Use of technology to capture and record and control plant operation. Case studies.


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Moodle quiz 1 Continuous Assessment Multiple Choice 10 % Week 4 1,2,3
2 Moodle quiz 2 Continuous Assessment Multiple Choice 10 % Week 10 4,5,6
3 Assignment Continuous Assessment Written Report 30 % Week 12 2,3,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final written examination Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Online On-line Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Directed Learning Online Directed Learning 1 Weekly 1.00
Laboratory Practical Not Specified Workshop 3 Twice Per Semester 0.40
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent learning 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.40 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2013-10-21 Handbook of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations, Third Edition CRC Press
ISBN 9781466553378 ISBN-13 1466553375

Handbook of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations the first thorough resource manual developed exclusively for water and wastewater plant operators has been updated and expanded. An industry standard now in its third edition, this book addresses management issues and security needs, contains coverage on pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), and includes regulatory changes. The author explains the material in laymans terms, providing real-world operating scenarios with problem-solving practice sets for each scenario. This provides readers with the ability to incorporate math with both theory and practical application. The book contains additional emphasis on operator safety, new chapters on energy conservation and sustainability, and basic science for operators. Whats New in the Third Edition: Prepares operators for licensure exams Provides additional math problems and solutions to better prepare users for certification exams Updates all chapters to reflect the developments in the field Enables users to properly operate water and wastewater plants and suggests troubleshooting procedures for returning a plant to optimum operation levels A complete compilation of water science, treatment information, process control procedures, problem-solving techniques, safety and health information, and administrative and technological trends, this text serves as a resource for professionals working in water and wastewater operations and operators preparing for wastewater licensure exams. It can also be used as a supplemental textbook for undergraduate and graduate students studying environmental science, water science, and environmental engineering.

Required Reading
2013-09-03 Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Resource Recovery McGraw-Hill Education
ISBN 0073401188 ISBN-13 9780073401188

Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Resource Recovery, 5/e is a thorough update of McGraw-Hill's authoritative book on wastewater treatment. No environmental engineering professional or civil or environmental engineering major should be without a copy of this book - describing the rapidly evolving field of wastewater engineering technological and regulatory changes that have occurred over the last ten years in this discipline, including: a new view of a wastewater as a source of energy, nutrients and potable water; more stringent discharge requirements related to nitrogen and phosphorus; enhanced understanding of the fundamental microbiology and physiology of the microorganisms responsible for the removel of nitrogen and phosphorus and other constituents; an appreciation of the importance of the separate treatment of return flows with respect to meeting more stringent standards for nitrogen removal and opportunities for nutrient recovery; increased emphasis on the treatment of sludge and the management of biosolids; increased awareness of carbon footprints impacts and greenhouse gas emissions, and an emphasis on the development of energy neutral or energy positive wastewater plants through more efficient use of chemical and heat energy in wastewater. This revision contains a strong focus on advanced wastewater treatment technologies and stresses the reuse aspects of wastewater and biosolids.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources
Journal Resources
URL Resources



Other Resources

Irish Water Wastewater Treatment Asset Standards and Specifications

Additional Information