Course Outline

ENG412 Design of Wastewater Treatment Systems

Course Coordinator:Peter Schwammberger ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course teaches the important concepts and fundamental principles of wastewater systems (including wastewater contaminants, characteristics, estimation of wastewater flows, collection systems, simple design of sewers, and preliminary and primary treatment systems), biological and other treatment processes, and treatment and disposal of bio-solids. After completing this course, you will be able to design, construct, operate and manage wastewater collection systems and wastewater treatment plants

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning material 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online workshop 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 2 – On campus tutorial 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Wastewater Treatment Systems, Characteristics of Wastewater

Wastewater Systems

Wastewater Collection Systems

Preliminary Treatment of Wastewater

Primary Treatment of Wastewater

Secondary Treatment of Wastewater – Treatment Ponds, Trickling Filters, Rotating Biological Contactors

Secondary Treatment of Wastewater – Activated Sludge

Anaerobic Treatment

Tertiary Treatment of Wastewater (Advanced Treatment),


Sludge Treatment and Disposal

Natural Treatment of Wastewater, Process Control

What level is this course?

400 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Engineers Australia
1 Research and access relevant engineering resources and recent developments in managing and treating wastewater. Knowledgeable
2 Evaluate information regarding managing and treating wastewater sustainability. Sustainability-focussed
1.2, 2.1
3 Explain and understand the technological processes used to manage and treat wastewater and the socio-economic factors that influence it. Knowledgeable
1.1, 1.2
4 Discuss the implications of and outcomes from inappropriate application of engineering principles in managing and treating waste water. Empowered
1.1, 1.2, 2.4
5 Design a possible solution to a waste water management and treatment problem or illustrate how engineering may be causing the problem. Empowered
2.1, 2.2

* Competencies by Professional Body

Engineers Australia
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.




Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

It is assumed that students have appropriate knowledge regarding the engineering design process.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Each week throughout semester, students will be able to complete questions before and in tutorials which are similar to the questions they will have in the exam. Solutions to these questions will be discussed in the tutorials are will be available in Canvas. This gives students constant formative feedback on their understanding of the course material and progress during semester. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Report Individual 20%
1500 words
Week 5 Online Submission
All 2 Report Individual 30%
2000 words
Week 11 Online Submission
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 50%
2 hours
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Wastewater Collection Systems assignment 1
This task is designed to model how a preliminary overview design is prepared for a wastewater collection system. You will produce an overview design (i.e. to flowchart detail only) of a wastewater collection system for a small country town in rural Queensland. This design brief will then feed into Task 2.
Product: Report
Individual submission, brief report format in doc. or .docx file, submitted via Canvas including: 

a description of your wastewater collection system design proposal, including appropriate diagrams, anticipated components and design capacity. 

consideration and discussion of wastewater contaminants and flow variations 

other relevant issues 

It will be necessary to make assumptions and these should be clearly stated
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Accuracy of answer, including appropriate applications of correct design methodologies and validity of assumptions
1 2
All - Assessment Task 2:Wastewater Treatment Assignment 2
You are to use the data from Task 1 and provide detailed designs of a wastewater treatment system to process the flows generated by the small country town in rural Queensland. You should include preliminary costings in your report.
Product: Report
Individual submission, brief engineering report in .doc or .docx file, submitted via Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Accuracy of answer, including appropriate applications of correct design methodologies and validity of assumptions
3 4 5
All - Assessment Task 3:End of semester exam
You will be required to complete a 2 hour examination based on information covered in the learning materials, and you will be required to demonstrate your understanding of various issues relating to the topics presented. This will include your analysis of information provided.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Five examination questions which will require short essay responses (diagrams and calculations may be required
No. Learning Outcome assessed
the ability to demonstrate understanding of the theoretical and practical 

​components of engineering waste water treatment systems
the ability to analyse and evaluate information
2 3
the ability to provide complete and accurate answers to the questions asked
4 5

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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General Enquiries

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