Module code: ENGM035

Module Overview

This module is one of the core subjects which provides students with essential knowledge of drinking water treatment and supply. In this module students learn about conventional and advanced water treatment methods and related design principles. The lectures of this module are delivered by academics and water industry experts. On successful completion of the module, the students are able to show originality in the application of knowledge of water treatment to specific situations. The primary JBM threads for this module include: Design, Sustainability and Health and Safety Risk Management; and this module covers Professionalism and Ethics as contributory thread.

It is normally expected that students have a background knowledge of applied chemistry and microbiology to the level of final  year BSc, or have completed ENGM055 Applied Chemistry and Microbiology.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

SAROJ Devendra (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 5

Independent Learning Hours: 85

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Tutorial Hours: 5

Practical/Performance Hours: 5

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Defining the needs of water treatment – EC directives/WHO guidelines /other international regulations;

  • Environmental and water quality management of reservoirs, raw water sources;

  • Rationale behind water treatment process design- Multiple barrier approach;

  • Review of water treatment processes applicable for the industrialised & developing world;

  • Unit processes and design guidelines of removing contaminants, including coagulation, sedimentation, softening, disinfection, rapid gravity filtration, membrane filtration, adsorption, gravel upflow/downflow filters, and slow sand filtration;

  • Water treatment in unusual circumstances, oxidation processes and desalination with reverse osmosis (RO);

  • Water supply issues and distribution network;

  • Operational management of water treatment and auditing technical performance.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 30
Examination Online ONLINE 4 HOUR (OPEN BOOK) EXAM 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • Critical awareness of the rationale behind water treatment and the analysis of the design principles in drinking water treatment and supply (LO’s 1, 2 and 4) is assessed through both coursework and an exam.

  • Appropriate selection of water treatment processes and the evaluation of industrial and professional practices on water treatment plant operation and management (LO’s 3, 4, 5 and 6).  This is assessed through the water treatment plant design coursework.

  • Evaluation of problems in water treatment and distribution, both in industrialised and developing world, for most appropriate treatment process selection and management strategies (LO’s 4, 5 and 6). This is assessed through both coursework and 2 hour unseen examination.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework on i). Water treatment process principles and design, and ii). Water supply/distribution [Learning outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6]

  • Examination [Learning outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6] 

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative assessment will be through a range of exercises provided in the lecture notes and discussed in the classroom. In particular, one quiz will be used to provide the formative feedback.

  • Students will receive written feedback on the quiz, and verbal feedback will be provided in the classroom.

Module aims

  • Provide a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the issues involved in producing potable water in both the industrialised and developing world
  • Provide insights from edge of field on managing drinking water sources such as lakes and reservoirs
  • Provide a systematic understanding of water treatment and supply systems including abstraction, storage and distribution and physico-chemical unit processes
  • Provide a comprehensive understanding of water treatment process design and management
  • Provide a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the particular issues in designing and operating treatment systems in the developing world

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to describe and demonstrate a systematic and critical awareness of the rationale behind water treatment. KCT EA1M, P4
002 Analyse and compare the design and operation principles of water treatment unit processes and show originality in the application of knowledge to specific situations, and assess strengths and weaknesses of proposed concepts and design. KCPT EA1M, D2, D7M, P2M, P9M
003 Propose the selection of raw water sources and appropriate water treatment process and technologies for given geographic, demographic and economic data. KCPT EA1M, D7M, P4, P9M
004 Critically analyse the problems in water distribution and justify the need for disinfection. KCPT EA1M, P4
005 Evaluate the importance of institutional factors in water treatment design especially management, and national and international legislation, and support any arguments through critical discussions and data presentation. KPT D2, D7M, P4
006 Prepare technical reports and documents with insights of professional practices for better management in water utilities, regulating agencies and aid agencies. KPT D2, D7M, P2M, P4

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

This module provides basic and applied knowledge that is required to serve the drinking water supply industry and water quality agencies. This will enhance employability due to the state-of-the-art industry practice. The students will learn the design of water treatment systems which will require engineering calculations and will enhance their digital skills. The knowledge gained in this module, related to, coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation units, softening units and other unit operations, is commonly required in quality assurance and operation of drinking water supply. Industry experts from UK and Germany also deliver lectures to provide industry relevant practical knowledge.

The learning and teaching activities include lectures, classroom exercises and design coursework:

  • Lecture on water sources and quality.

  • Lectures and classroom exercises on water treatment processes and design of process units.

  • Lecture on water supply and distribution.

  • Lecture on water supply in developing countries.

  • Lecture on ground water quality contaminants.

  • Lecture on reservoir water quality.

  • Lecture on water treatment and supply practices in Germany.

  • Independent study on water treatment, design and supply.

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

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM035

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital capabilities: design of water treatment plant using suitable digital tools to carry out calculations and drawing of flow schemes.

Employability: interaction with UK and European water industry experts.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: water treatment in the context of developing countries is covered in discussions and coursework.

Sustainability: protection and sustainable utilisation of water resources is covered in lectures and assessment.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: design exercises and interactive discussions in the classroom, and formative feedback on design choices proposed by individual students.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Water and Environmental Engineering MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Infrastructure Engineering and Management MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Structural Engineering MSc 1 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 2022/3 academic year.