Course code THT271

THT271 Basics of water and wastewater treatment technology

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Zakhar Maletskyi
Teachers: Nazli Pelin Kocatürk Schumacher, Agnieszka Katarzyna Cuprys, Lars John Hem, Harsha Chandima Ratnaweera
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2005-2006
Course contents:

This course focuses on technologies that deploy water and wastewater treatment processes at utilities.

Students will learn about processes and technologies for designing and upgrading water and wastewater treatment plants. The capstone assignment is to design water and wastewater treatment plants upgrades based on two respective case studies.

The goal of this course is to enable students

  • to justify the selection of processes and
  • to propose technologies of water and wastewater treatment for design and upgrade of treatment plants.

Knowledge of processes used for water and wastewater treatment and the ability to propose respective technologies will be the basis for evaluating student performance in the course.

The course is arranged in 5 modules:

Module 1 introduces global water challenges and sets the context for the following modules. It positions the water crisis on the global risks landscape and reveals interconnections. It develops skills of PESTL analysis: political, economic, technological, legal, and environmental factors of the water crisis. It also introduces solution agendas on digital water, water and sanitation services, cities & basins of the future. Students will experience conflicts of resource efficiency in the water-food-energy nexus playing SIM4NEXUS serious game. The module introduces water supply and wastewater management practices in Europe. The module also develops skills of problem and stakeholder analysis in expert groups.

Module 2 focuses on physical, chemical, and biological quality of drinking water and the characteristics of wastewater. It also refreshes knowledge on chemical reactions and reactor analysis. It prepares students for understanding treatment processes in Module 3.

Module 3 introduces processes used in water and wastewater treatment technologies that are a subject in the following modules. Module 3 builds the knowledge of physical, chemical, physical-chemical, and biological processes. It also develops skills in process analysis in water and wastewater treatment. It introduces a case study development practice - an in-depth, detailed examination of two cases on water and wastewater within a real-world context of treatment plants.

Module 4 introduces water treatment technologies used in the drinking water supply. It builds knowledge on how to deploy processes learned from Module 3 in technologies that achieve treatment goals of waterworks: remove particles, natural organic matter, dissolved solids, disinfect water, treat residuals. It develops skills in planning technological upgrades at water treatment plants and selecting control and automation strategies. It introduces the practice of case study development with a technology upgrade.

Module 5 introduces technologies used in wastewater treatment. It builds knowledge on how to deploy processes learned from Module 3 in technologies that achieve treatment goals of wastewater plants: remove particles and phosphates, organic matter and nutrients, recycle and reuse water, process biosolids and sludges. It develops skills in planning technological upgrades at wastewater treatment plants. It introduces the practice of case study development with a technology upgrade.

Learning outcome:

At the end of this course, students will know:

  • global context and status of the water sector
  • essential water quality indicators and wastewater characteristics
  • common physical, chemical, physical-chemical, and biological processes applied in the water sector
  • examples of water and wastewater treatment technologies

and will be able to

  • characterise the source water quality and wastewater characteristics and define treated water quality goals and standards
  • perform predesign studies, including process selection and development of design criteria
  • propose design alternatives for the selected processes
Learning activities:

This course is offered as synchronous: it runs in real-time with students and instructors attending together.

The course contains technical lectures, readings, technical excursions, keynotes and workshops involving serious games and digital collaboration tools.

Teaching support:

All instructors offer individual or group consultations in-person or online by appointment via email.

Students with special needs are entitled to special arrangements for their exams.

Please contact the special needs office for more information:


Course textbooks:

1. Drinking water: Crittenden, J.C., Trussell, R.R., Hand, D.W., Howe, K.J., Tchobanoglous, G., 2012. MWH’s Water Treatment: Principles and Design: Third Edition, MWH’s Water Treatment: Principles and Design: Third Edition. John Wiley and Sons. Available as eBook via Oria or at NMBU’s library

2. Wastewater: Metcalf & Eddy, Tchobanoglous, G. et al., 2014. Wastewater engineering: treatment and resource recovery 5th ed., New York: McGraw-Hill Education. Available at NMBU’s library

Other relevant textbooks and books:

3. Kemira Water Handbook. Available online

4. Membrane technology for waste water treatment. Pinnekamp, Friedrich. Aachen, FiW 2006. Available as a free eBook on Canvas

5. Experimental Methods in Wastewater Treatment. Available online

6. Bratby, J., 2016. Coagulation and flocculation in water and wastewater treatment Third., London: IWA Publishing. Available at NMBU’s library

A basic course in chemistry or water chemistry, for example KJM100 (Chemistry) or KJM220 (Water Chemistry)
Recommended prerequisites:
A basic course in microbiology is recommended, for example equivalent to BIO130 Microbiology
Mandatory activity:
Two field trips (technical excursions) and a capstone project (term paper) are obligatory.
Final assessment and grading will be done based on a 3-hour written digital examination counting for 60% of the final mark. The exam may include MCQs and/or essay-type questions. The term paper counts for the rest 40% of the final mark.
Nominal workload:

For the 10 ECTS course, around 250 hours of work is typically expected. That means that in addition to structured teaching, group and individual work is expected every week. Individual work also includes readings suggested in the course outline.

Expected workload:

  • Classes 17%
  • Field trips 2%
  • Group work on Capstone Project 17%
  • Group discussions (other assignments) 2%
  • Individual work on Capstone Project 33%
  • Other individual work: reading etc. 29%
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Type of course:

The classes include:

  • Lectures and workshops involving serious games - 52 h / 26 classes
  • Field trips - 6 h / 2 classes
  • The rest is group work on Capstone Project, group discussions, and individual work.
The course is designed for Master"s students in the Water and environmental technology program, 2- year MSc program on Sustainable water and sanitation, as well as other water-related courses (food sciences, etc).
The external and internal examiner jointly prepare the exam questions and the correction manual. The external examiner reviews the internal examiner's examination results by correcting a random sample of candidate's exams as a calibration according to the faculty's guidelines for examination markings.
Allowed examination aids: B1 Calculator handed out, no other aids
Examination details: Combined assessment: Letter grades