Groundwater Resources and Treatment

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the participants with theoretical and practical knowledge, field experience, and innovations in IHE Delft research in the areas of conventional, as well as advanced methods for treatment of groundwater intended for water supply.

Apply now for

OKP and MSP Scholarship

If your are eligible, consider to apply for an Orange Knowledge or MENA Scholarship Programme. Interested? Apply for admission to this course by 25 September 2022.

For whom?

The course is designed for professionals active in the sector of drinking water supply, including but not limited to teachers, operators, engineers, scientists and employees of Ministries of Environment and/or Infrastructure (and similar).


For this course, basic knowledge of inorganic chemistry and familiarity with basic water quality parameters and treatment methods are an advantage..

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 01 May 2023
End: 19 May 2023
ECTS credit points: 5
Deadline IHE application: 31 March 2023 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 5250

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participants will be able to:

  1. assess if given groundwater is aggressive against materials used in water supply system and propose appropriate neutralisation methods;
  2. describe importance of groundwater as a source for drinking water production and assess overall quality of a given groundwater;
  3. establish appropriate treatment approach for groundwater containing commonly occurring impurities and pollutants (iron, manganese, ammonia, fluoride, arsenic, hydrogen sulphide and nitrate);
  4. explore advanced groundwater treatment approaches applied in The Netherlands and in Belgium for removal of emerging pollutants.

Course content

Groundwater (GW) presents more than 95 % of Earth’s liquid freshwater, thus being a much bigger source of water than surface water. Aquifers provide natural protection from contamination, making GW:

  1. cleaner | safer than surface water;
  2. mainly pathogens-free,
  3. having constant | good quality.

Consequently, drinking water production from GW requires low capital and operational costs. It is also available close to demand points, which makes it the major source of drinking water in developing world.

However, developing countries lack the knowledge | expertise to exploit GW for drinking water production. Overcoming this challenge is the main goal of this course.

IHE, with experts from the Dutch water industry, has a long history in innovative research in improving quality of groundwater (PhD studies, >50 MSc studies, innovation of the year reward), and can therefore provide the needed expertise to participants, in particular from developing countries, that are underusing their natural resource – groundwater.

Groundwater resources and treatment course covers the following topics.

Introduction to course

  • Reasons GW is one of the major water sources for drinking water production;
  • advantages of exploiting GW as a drinking water source.

Aggressive properties of water & neutralisation techniques

  • Problems caused by water that has aggressive (corrosive) characteristics;
  • methods to determine aggressivity of water;
  • methods to reduce | eliminate aggressive properties of water (neutralisation methods).

Groundwater quality

  • Sources of impurities and pollutants in GW;
  • chemical and physical characteristics of GW.

Aeration & Gas transfer

  • Purposes of aeration applied in GW treatment;
  • introduction to different aeration systems usually applied in GW treatment.

Conventional groundwater treatment

  • Origins and problems caused by the presence of iron, ammonium, manganese and hydrogen sulphide in GW;
  • conventional methods for removal of these parameters from GW;
  • experiences from field pilot and full-scale groundwater treatment plants;
  • research at IHE on iron and manganese removal.

Arsenic, fluoride & nitrate removal

  • Origins and health effects of arsenic, fluoride and nitrate contamination of GW;
  • methods for removal of these parameters from GW intended for water supply;
  • innovative research on adsorptive arsenic and fluoride removal technologies at IHE Delft.

Advanced groundwater treatment in The Netherlands.

  • Removal of natural organic matter from GW;
  • river bank filtration and artificial aquifer recharge.

The participants will be introduced to the above topic through lectures, design exercises, lab sessions and field trip(s).


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