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E – 1298 – Primer for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Systems

Intended Audience: civil, mechanical, and construction engineers who need a basic overview of municipal wastewater treatment systems



This course provides an overview of the need for and characteristics of municipal wastewater treatment systems. Various types of pollutants are described. Primary, secondary, and advanced treatment processes are discussed. Issues of disposal of wastewater residuals and biosolids are presented. The discussion is extended to decentralized systems as well. The course is based on an EPA primer on wastewater treatment systems and is especially suitable for engineers with no previous background in wastewater treatment. All technical terms are clearly defined and explained.

This course is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency document EPA 832-R-04-001, “Primer for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Systems,” September, 2004.

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • Clean Water Act requirements for wastewater treatment
  • Need for wastewater treatment
  • Centralized collection
  • Types of pollutants
  • Primary and secondary treatment; advanced methods
  • Disinfection through the use of chlorine, ozone, and ultraviolet radiation
  • Pretreatment
  • Use or disposal of wastewater residuals and biosolids
  • Management of onsite/decentralized wastewater systems

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