Module code: ENGM039

Module Overview

The importance of groundwater is often overlooked since it is out-of-sight.  However it is for many people around the world the principal or only source of water supply.  Groundwater is a vulnerable resource and without proper consideration for groundwater resources and pollution from surface sources (eg careless disposal of wastes) significant deterioration of water quality can occur requiring difficult and expensive remediation techniques over long periods of time.  This module provides a comprehensive overview of groundwater hydrology, the necessary skills to investigate and control groundwater pollution and to design and manage well systems.

Module provider

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Module Leader

PEDLEY S Dr (Civl Env Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: H220

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

A basic knowledge of the principles of geology, hydrology and seepage theory to FHEQ Level 6.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Geology of groundwater occurance
Groundwater movement and recharge
Natural groundwater quality and contamination
Groundwater discharge and surface hydrology
Groundwater flow to wells
Well design, construction, monitoring and maintenance
Sanitary hazard analysis and remediation at the well head
Groundwater models
Groundwater development and management

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HOUR) 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Explain the key concepts of hydrogeology and how this relates to the sustainable management of groundwater resources (LOs 1,2) through a 2 hour unseen examination  and coursework assignment.
Demonstrate well design, construction and maintenance (LO 4) through a 2 hour unseen examination.
Demonstrate an ability to investigate groundwater conditions resulting in reduced water quality and propose appropriate interventions to improve water quality and manage abstraction to maintain water quality. (LOs 1, 2, 3 T Skills a,b,c,d) through a coursework assignment.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Examination (LOs assessed 1,2,4); (2 hours, 70%)
Assignment report (LOs assessed  1,2,3); (40 hours, 30%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback will be given for the coursework assignments, in the form of generic comments through SurreyLearn and more detailed and individualised feedback given on the marked assignments within the time allowed for marking coursework. Formative assessment will be through a range of self assessment exercises provided on SurreyLearn.  Where practical automatic feedback will be given; otherwise feedback will be given in class.

Module aims

  • Provide a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the particular issues in designing and operating treatment systems in the developing world.
  • a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the importance of groundwater as a source of drinking water
  • a comprehensive understanding of the origins and geological context of groundwater
  • a knowledge of water well design and the techniques used aquifer evaluation
  • an understanding of water well design and maintenance
  • a comprehensive understanding of contaminants and pollutants which commonly may influence groundwater quality, and their sources
  • a knowledge of the methods of investigating and controlling groundwater pollution and risks

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Interpret groundwater conditions based on geological, topographic and land use data KC
002 Identify and evaluate the causes and extent of aquifer pollution problems. KC
003 Propose sustainable logical medium to long-term strategies to manage and protect groundwater quality CPT
004 Design single and simple multiple well systems KC
005 Technical report writing T
006 Written communication T
007 3D spatial awareness T
008 Critical thinking T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Lecture Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 3

Methods of Teaching / Learning

This module provides an introduction to hydrogeology and focuses on the use and sustainability of groundwater as a key resource.

This module is delivered principally by lectures, together with some tutorials. The Coursework assignment (see assessment strategy) encourages students to expand their reading and develop critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills.

33 hrs of lectures, tutorials and presentations, including lectures from British Geological Survey staff. 40 hrs assignment work and 75 hrs independent learning.

The learning and teaching methods include (hours are indicative):

30 hours of lectures,
3 hours tutorials
40 hours assignment work
75 hours independent learning (guided reading, independent reading and revision)


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for GROUNDWATER CONTROL :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Civil Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.