Water treatment, wastewater collection, treatment and reuse, water pollution control, and the assessment of project environmental impacts are key elements in maintaining public health and protecting the environment. Civil engineers typically undertake and have responsibility for major projects in each of these areas. This unit of study aims to give students a basic understanding, problem solving and design skills in each of these facets of civil engineering. Students are required as part of the unit to undertake a site visit and inspection of relevant infrastructure, and write a report on same.

Key topics include: Reaction kinetics and reactors. Wastewater management overview. Wastewater characteristics and estimation of wastewater flows. Types, design, maintenance and rehabilitation of collection systems.  Basic microbiology. Wastewater treatment plant types and applications, unit processes involved and design of components. Advanced wastewater treatment. Introduction to industrial wastewater treatment processes. Land treatment methods and wastewater reuse. On-site wastewater treatment. Water pollution and quality changes in rivers, estuaries and lakes. Point and non-point source water pollution and control. Urban runoff quality and its management. Water quality modelling, overview of available models, and use of SOURCE software. Environmental impact scoping and assessment, community consultation programmes.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:


NEC2203 - Hydraulics

NEC3201 - Hydraulic Engineering

NEC2203, including prior completion of NEC3201 Hydraulic Engineering, is also strongly advised.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Develop basic design plans for key elements of different types of wastewater collection systems, treatment plants and reuse systems;  
  2. Explicate and solve, manually or via appropriate software packages, a range of water pollution and water sensitive urban design (WSUD) problems;  
  3. Analyse potential environmental impacts for typical civil engineering projects, and evaluate solution options against technical, environmental, economic and social criteria; and  
  4. Produce high quality written technical reports as part of a small team.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test In-class test (0.5 hours) 10%
Assignment Assignment 1: Team-based problem solving/design exercise and report (may be in 2 parts) 20%
Assignment Assignment 2: Team-based site visit and report (10 pages per group) 10%
Examination End-of-semester exam (3 hours) 60%
The examination focuses upon the individual student's ability to demonstrate his or her in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline, apply established engineering methods to complex engineering problems, and the fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources, as defined in Engineers Australia competencies 1.3, 2.1 and 2.2. In addition, the tasks assess the student on the individual components of Learning Outcomes (LO) (1 to 3) which are not assessed within the test or assignments 1 and 2. As the examination is the one clear way by which these competencies and LO's can be assessed on an individual basis, students must achieve a minimum mark of 50% in the examination in order to pass the unit.

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