The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018

Course handbook


This course is intended to equip chemical and environmental engineers with knowledge and skills to be able to understand how best to sustainably manage the water cycle. This includes understanding the role of various unit operations and having an appreciation of the design approach for these. In particular there is an emphasis on designing and operating biological systems for wastewater treatment.

Ensuring engineers are able to take an integrated approach to design of water infrastructure for managing our urban water cycle is a key objective of the course. This includes focus on advanced recycling of effluent and technologies employed in achieving regulatory standards.

The course will involve students developing a biological model to enable simulation of biological wastewater treatment processes. Inspection of a number of water and wastewater treatment plants will occur.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Gain an understanding of the key issues associated with effective management of water resources for urban communities.

2. Gain an understanding of the basic principles that underpin physical, chemical and biological treatment of both potable and wastewater streams.

3. Determine the treatment processes necessary to meet water quality requirements.

4. Apply basic principals in the design of the unit operations aimed at removing waterborne contaminants.

5. Quantify the energy requirements associated with biological wastewater treatment plants.


The course will introduce a range of environmental protection technologies applied to the treatment of water streams. The course covers the theoretical and applied principles and practices for a range of potable water and sewage treatment methods.

For potable water the topics include:

  1. Water supply sources and management strategies
  2. Water quality characteristics
  3. Water treatment technologies
  4. Hardness removal
  5. Clarification
  6. Disinfection

For municipal wastewater the topics include:

  1. Overview of types biological systems
  2. Overview of wastewater treatment rmicrobiology: The organisms present and their roles in treatment.
  3. Characterising raw sewage for biological modelling.
  4. Principles and models describing carbonaceous removal, nitrification, denitrification.
  5. Activated sludge treatment.
  6. Overview of aeration methods and models to quantity oxygen transfer.
  7. Energy utilisation.
  8. Anaerobic digestion.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignments 1-5

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 8 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Please note that the site visits are held on 4 occasions and replace the lecture.


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks