Course Title: Wastewater Systems Design and Modelling

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Wastewater Systems Design and Modelling

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Maazuza Othman

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2318

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.12.16

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed knowledge from CIVE1199 Wastewater Treatment and Recycling.

Course Description

The course takes a project-based approach to introduce you to biological wastewater treatment, especially the activated sludge process and its modifications. These modifications were developed by engineers and scientists mainly for improved nutrients removal. Case studies covering a range of wastewater treatment/ water recycling plants will be discussed in a workshop environment. This course builds on and utilises the knowledge developed in the course CIVE1199 Wastewater Treatment and Recycling. You will learn how to assess the impact of process operation parameters on the performance of biological wastewater treatment processes using both mathematical models and software packages. You will work in teams to design a water recycling plant with a focus on energy efficiency and minimising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition you will use specialised software to estimate the cost of wastewater systems and to simulate the performance of water recycling treatment plants using Capdet-Works and Biowin.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH080 Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) (Honours)

1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

1.5 Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.

2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.

3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Assess wastewater treatment processes in the context of environmental, economic and social factors.
  2. Describe and discuss biological nitrogen removal (BNR) and biological nitrogen phosphorus removal (BNPR) processes.
  3. Select and design advanced wastewater processes to produce water suitable for a specified end use (i.e. water recycling systems).
  4. Design wastewater treatment systems using both conventional design method and simulation software packages (e.g. Biowin).
  5. Design treatment plants, write technical feasibility documentation and design reports which include problem specifications and customer requirements as expected in industry.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn about wastewater treatment through weekly tutorials supported by recorded lectures and a range of resources. You will attend workshops and training sessions on the use of specialised tools and software for the design of wastewater/ water recycling plants. Further you will have opportunities to demonstrate and develop your communication skills through working in teams on a design problem in the field of wastewater treatment including water recycling

Total study hours: You will undertake two hours face-to-face contact per week on average in the form of tutorials, software training and usage in computer labs. Access to recordings (or information provided during these sessions will be available online for offshore students). You can expect to spend a minimum of four to six hours per week in independent study and listening to or watching online resources . .

Overview of Learning Resources

The course has a prescribed textbook which is available both in hard and soft copy. A list of recommended text books is available in the library, either hard or e-copies; links to relevant websites and online useful material is provided on Blackboard LMS. Software packages are accessible in RMIT computer labs. All handouts will be available on Blackboard.

Support can also be found at RMIT Library Guides:

Overview of Assessment

You will have the opportunity to undertake assessment tasks both individually and in teams. You will be able to learn about treatment technologies and wastewater treatment through visits to different treatment plants in Victoria (Case study). You will work in a team to prepare an ‘information kit’ that can be used by the water authority, either on their website or as a learning package for those who tour the plant. During the first half of the semester you will develop your problem solving skills and work on different design problems (Assignment 1). The major assessment task is a design project which gives you an opportunity to work in a team and apply the knowledge acquired from this course and other relevant courses.

☒This course has no hurdle requirements

Assessment tasks

Case Study

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3 & 5

Assessment Task 2: Design Problems

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLO 4

Feedback is provided through marking of problems and the solution to the problems which will be posted on Canvas.

Assessment Task 3: Project

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 3, 4, 5

Report marking criteria is provided with the project handout. Feedback on progress of work is provided during the tutorial sessions. Feedback on the final report is provided through marking sheet rubrics

Assessment 4: Test

Weighting 25% 

This assessment supports CLOs 2 & 4