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ENV5205 Solid and Liquid Waste Treatment

Semester 1, 2015 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Contents on this page


Examiner: Laszlo Erdei
Moderator: Vasanthadevi Aravinthan


Pre-requisite: ENV4203 or ENV4204 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCEN or METC or MEPR or GCNS or GDNS or MENS


The effective treatment and disposal of solid and liquid wastes is the responsibility of the local authority engineer in many communities. The primary responsibility in any waste treatment system is to ensure that community health is not endangered, but increasing concern is also being shown that the environment should not be unnecessarily harmed, and that the systems employed are cost effective.


This course revises and builds upon basic principles of solid and liquid waste treatment introduced in undergraduate civil engineering studies. The course aims to develop a reasonable postgraduate level of expertise, principally in the areas of solid waste treatment methodology, and the design of wastewater treatment facilities.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate the processes involved in the collection, storage, management and disposal of solid wastes;
  2. describe wastewater characterisation;
  3. discuss the principles and sanitary processes involved in wastewater treatment;
  4. analyse problems in wastewater treatment and design the components of wastewater treatment systems.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Wastewater Characterisation

Sources of wastewater.


Chemical and biological characteristics.
2. Wastewater Treatment

Convention processes.

Theory of sedimentation.

Kinetics of activated sludge.

Biological nutrient removal.

Disinfection processes.
3. Sludge Treatment and Disposal

Anaerobic and aerobic digestion.

4. Characteristics of Solid Wastes

Development of solid waste management.

Nature and composition.

Waste generation.
5. Recycling, Reuse and Waste Minimisation

Waste management hierarchy.

Separation and storage at source.
6. Collection Techniques

Transfer stations.

Handling and collection systems and operations.
7. Solid Waste Disposal Techniques

Waste transformation through composting.


Controlled landfill and processes within landfill.

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • A hand-held battery-operated calculator.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Hartley, KJ 1985, Operating the activated sludge process, Gutteridge Haskins & Davey, Brisbane, Qld.
  • McDougall, FR 2001, Integrated solid waste management: a life cycle inventory, 2nd edn, Blackwell Science, Malden, MA.
  • Metcalf & Eddy, Inc 2013, Wastewater engineering: treatment and reuse, 5th edn, McGraw Hill, Boston.
  • Qasim, SR 1999, Wastewater treatment plants: planning, design, and operation, 2nd edn, Technomic Publishing Company, Lancaster, PA.
  • Tchobanoglous, G, Theisen, H & Vigil, SA 1993, Integrated solid waste management: engineering principles and management issues, McGraw Hill, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Directed Study 123.00
Examinations 2.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 20 Apr 2015
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 18 May 2015
2 HOUR OPEN EXAMINATION 600 60 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In an Open Examination, candidates may have access to any material during the examination except the following: electronic communication devices, bulky materials, devices requiring mains power and material likely to disturb other students.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.