Resource Oriented Wastewater Treatment and Sanitation

This course introduces the participants to the concept, application and design of anaerobic reactors and a number of natural systems for wastewater treatment.

For whom?

Engineers, scientists and other water professionals with a BSc degree in environmental sciences, chemical engineering, civil engineering or related disciplines.


While there is not a strict prerequisite to undertaking this course it is recommended that the participants are familiar with basic concepts of:

  • Microbiology (First-year undergraduate level, eg. classification of microbial life, autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms, growth requirements...) 
  • Chemistry (First-year undergraduate level, eg. chemical bonds, balancing reactions equations, oxidation-reduction reactions, solubility equilibrium, Gibbs free energy...)

In case you desire to update/refresh these concepts you can have a look at our free online preparatory courses on Microbiology and Chemistry via the link "". 

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. describe the physical, chemical and microbiological processes occurring in
    anaerobic reactors and a number of natural systems
  2. critically reflect on the current sanitation systems encountered in many urban areas and to indicate ways to improve this situation in a sustainable manner;
  3. evaluate the possibilities for closing cycles of energy, water and nutrients
  4. evaluate the feasibility of the application of the technologies studied in this module in urban settings in the developing world
  5. carry out preliminary process design of treatment and reuse systems to assess the needs for capital, land, equipment and operation and maintenance

Course content

The syllabus includes the following subjects: rationale of applying natural systems for wastewater management; role of anaerobic pre-treatment in sanitation strategies; anaerobic reactor technology; nutrient cycles; waste stabilisation ponds; fish aquaculture; macrophyte ponds; constructed wetlands; land applications; technology selection; World Health Organisation and Food & Agricultural Organisation guidelines, development of appropriate cropping patterns, crop selection, irrigation technology and nutrient demand; and matching irrigation water supply and demand.


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