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Fundamentals of Water Treatment Processes: Physical, Chemical, and Biological

  • certificateThis course is part of the Water Treatment Certificate Program

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    Why You Should Learn About Water Treatment

    • Drinking water quality is in the news every day. Today, customers are more and more engaged in the quality of water in their community, and have concerns about disinfection by products, lead, and legionella in piping systems.
    • The challenges with drinking water treatment are diverse and make it one of the most interesting fields in civil engineering: new contaminants are found like PFAS or PFOS in groundwaters, or algal toxins are detected because of a bloom of cyanobacteria in a surface water.
    • Public water systems are developing new sources that require treatment. Sometimes these new sources are difficult to treat – like highly saline groundwaters or advanced treatment for the indirect potable reuse of wastewater.
    • The instructor is currently working on a number of water treatment projects including work with a community in California that is dealing with groundwater treatment issues with naturally occurring hexavalent chromium, arsenic, and nitrate in their water supply. Mr. Odell is contributing to an international project for a client to expand their ceramic membrane treatment system to be the largest in the world. He is also working on designing a biological treatment system to remove ammonia.

    Purpose & Background

    This course provides a thorough understanding of the major unit processes used in water treatment, including chemical, physical, and biological processes. Several case studies throughout the course will illustrate how water utilities are incorporating multiple chemical, physical, and biological treatment processes into their water treatment plants. At the conclusion of this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the theory of the processes, as well as the real-world application of each unit process.


    Lee H. Odell, P.E. and Peter H. Kreft, P.E.

    Course Benefits

    • This course provides a thorough understanding of the basic fundamentals of water treatment unit processes.
    • The learner will be able to apply the unit processes to water treatment applications and understand how effective they will be.
    • The learner will understand the limitations of treatment processes.
    • The learner will be better equipped to assess water treatment plant performance issues.
    • The learner will be able to evaluate alternative treatment processes for a wide variety of water quality issues.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Identify and understand the twelve most important chemical, physical, and biological processes used in water treatment.
    • Describe the four most important chemical reaction types for water treatment.
    • Recognize the five most important physical treatment processes in water treatment.
    • Evaluate the ten most common contaminants removed by biological filtration.
    • Demonstrate the four most important factors of the carbonate system, and the nine most common chemicals used to adjust it.
    • Investigate five kinds of contaminants removed by aeration.
    • Assess eleven kinds of contaminants removed by anion exchange and seven kinds of contaminants removed by cation exchange.
    • Compare reactions and kinetics for nine different oxidants and disinfectants.
    • Research how chemical, physical, and biological processes work together in nine different case studies. 

    Who Should Attend?

    • Civil engineers engaged in water treatment design
    • Operation staff
    • Consulting engineers

    Course Outline


    2.4 CEUs / 24 PDHs


    Early Bird Rate: Member $1395 | Non-Member $1695
    Regular Rate: Member $1695 | Non-Member $1995