ECMM134 - Environmental Processes (2019)

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MODULE TITLEEnvironmental Processes CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECMM134 MODULE CONVENERProf Fayyaz Ali Memon (Coordinator)
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 0
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

This module is aimed at individuals looking to have a deeper understanding of the impacts water has on engineering projects and human health. The module covers water management, water quality, water treatment and wastewater treatment processes and technologies, with applied examples, and the necessary background science to understand them. By the end of the module, you should be able to understand the basic environmental chemistry associated to water management, the water quality required for engineering use, and the treatment processes available.

AIMS - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide an understanding of environmental processes associated with water resources management (environmental engineering). The first part of the module aims to provide the required background, covering topics related to chemistry, physical processes and biology in environmental engineering. The second part of the module aims to cover water quality, water treatment and wastewater treatment, as required for use in engineering processes and for human/ecosystem health.

Prior knowledge of engineering processes is desired, but the module is designed as a standalone course and the background theory required is provided in the class textbook. The module is suitable for specialist students advancing on the MSc in Water Management/ Engineering and for any student in a civil and environmental engineering degree. Non-specialist students with an interest in water management can attend, provided they have a scientific background and can understand basic engineering concepts.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

This is a constituent module of one or more degree programmes which are accredited by a professional engineering institution under licence from the Engineering Council. The learning outcomes for this module have been mapped to the output standards required for an accredited programme, as listed in the current version of the Engineering Council’s ‘Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes’ document (AHEP-V3).


This module contributes to learning outcomes: SM1m, SM1fl, SM2m, SM3m, SM4m, SM2fl, SM6m, SM3fl, EA1m, EA2m, EA4m, EA5m, EA2fl, D2m, D3m, D1fl, D5m, D6m, ET1m, ET1fl, ET4m, ET4fl, ET6m, ET6fl, EP2m, EP1fl, EP9m, EP2fl, EP10m, EP3fl, EP11m, EP4fl, G1m, G1fl, G2m, G2fl


A full list of the referenced outcomes is provided online:

The AHEP document can be viewed in full on the Engineering Council’s website, at


On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge: SM1m, SM1fl, SM2m, SM3m, SM4m, SM2fl, SM6m, SM3fl, EA1m, EA2m, EA4m, D2m, D3m, D1fl, D5m, ET4m, ET4fl, ET6m, ET6fl
1. Write balanced chemical reactions and equilibrium expressions for air-water chemical reactions, volatilization, acid-base reactions, oxidation-reduction reactions, precipitation-dissolution, and sorption-desorption processes.
2. Predict distribution of chemicals among different environmental media
3. Understand reactors: types, behaviour, properties and operation
4. Apply ficks law, stokes law and darcys law to environmnetal problems
5. Understand the different types of population growth models applied to microbial populations
6. Calculate the parameters associated with biological activity in water systems (BOD, BOD5, COD etc)
7. Understand the characteristics and quality of water from different natural sources
8. Recognise the impacts in water quality of: engineering projects, contaminant events, population growth, ubanization and land use
9. Identify physical, chemical and biological constituents that exist in untreated water and typical concentration ranges for the major constituents
10. Understand and design appropriate water treatment processes to match regulatory water quality requirements under different environmental, technological and economic conditions
11. Identify distinct hydrological, physical, chemical and biological inputs that make up municipal wastewater and list typical concentrations of the major constituents
12. Understand and design appropriate wastewater treatment processes to match regulatory water quality requirements under different environmental, technological and economic conditions

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge: SM3m, SM6m, SM3fl, EA4m, EA5m, EA2fl, D3m, D1fl, D5m, ET4m, ET4fl, EP2m, EP1fl, EP9m, EP2fl, EP10m, EP3fl, EP11m, EP4fl, G1m, G1fl
13. Improve understanding of engineering unit processes operation and design
14. Ability to identify, formulate and analyse water management and treatment problems
15. Improve IT skills
16. Ability to relate theoretical design with industrial/real life water resources management

Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge: D6m, ET1m, ET1fl, G1m, G1fl, G2m, G2fl
17. Develop independent learning skills
18. Enhance report and presentation skills

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

FIRST PART – Environmental Chemistry


- Activity and Concentration

- Thermodynamic Laws

- Volatilization

- Air-Water Equilibrium

- Reaction Stoichiometry

- Air-Water Equilibrium

- Acid-Base Chemistry

- Oxidation-Reduction

- Precipitation-dissolution

- Adsorption, Absorption, and Sorption

- Kinetics

Physical Processes

- Mass Balances

- Energy Balances

- Mass Transport Processes


- Population Dynamics

- Oxygen Demand: Biochemical, Chemical and Theoretical

- Material Flow in Ecosystems

- Health and Public Welfare


SECOND PART – Water Treatment Processes

Water Quality       

- River Water Quality

- Lake and Reservoir Water Quality

- Wetlands

- Low-Impact Development

- Groundwater Quality

Water Treatment  

- Introduction

- Characteristics of Untreated Water

- Water Quality Standards

- Overview of Water Treatment Processes

- Coagulation and Flocculation

- Hardness Removal

- Sedimentation

- Filtration

- Disinfection

- Membrane Processes

- Adsorption

- Energy Usage

Wastewater Treatment        

- Introduction

- Characteristics of Domestic Wastewater

- Overview of Treatment Processes

- Preliminary Treatment

- Primary Treatment

- Secondary Treatment

- Modifications to the Activated-Sludge Process

- Attached-Growth Reactors

- Removal of Nutrients: Nitrogen and Phosphorus

- Disinfection and Aeration

- Sludge Treatment and Disposal

- Natural Treatment Systems

- Energy Usage during Wastewater Treatment

Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 34.00 Guided Independent Study 116.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning & teaching activities 22 In class lectures. 2 hours per week.
Scheduled learning & teaching activities 6 Tutorials for Problems
Scheduled learning & teaching activities 6 Project Guidance Tutorials
Guided Independent Study 14 Set of problems related to lectures
Guided Independent Study 102 Assessment preparation; private study and project work


FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Problem Sheets 3 hours per sheet, 6 sheets in total during the term 1 - 18 Comments


Coursework 30 Written Exams 70 Practical Exams 0
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Written Examination (Closed Book, formula sheet provided) 70 2 hours - Winter Exam Period 1 - 14 Comments and recommendations
Group Project 30 3 people group written report on water treatment – case study evaluation and plant processes design. 9000 +/- 10% words 1 - 18 Comments and recommendations


DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
Written Examination Written Examination 1 - 14 Next referral exams as per timetable
GroupProject Individual Essay 1 - 17 Next reassessment opportunity



-  If student needs to resubmit the written examination only, then the written exam is worth 70%.

-  If student needs to resubmit the group project only, then the re-assessed individual essay is worth 30%.

-  If the student needs to resubmit BOTH the written exam and the group project, then the exam is worth 70% and the individual essay is worth 30%.

INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic reading:




Web based and Electronic Resources:


Other Resources:


Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Mihelcic, J R, Zimmerman, J B Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, sustainability, design John Wiley and sons 2009 978-0470165058 [Library]
Set Metcalf and Eddy Wastewater Engineering. Treatment and Reuse McGraw Hill 2004 978-0071241403 [Library]
Set Leslie Grady Biological Wastewater Treatment 1999 0824789799 [Library]
Set Mackenzie Davis Introduction to Environmental Engineering McGraw Hill Companies 2008 0070418780 [Library]
ORIGIN DATE Tuesday 10 July 2018 LAST REVISION DATE Tuesday 10 July 2018
KEY WORDS SEARCH Environmental Engineering, Water, Water Chemistry, Wastewater Treatment, Water Quality