Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
6.7 Training (Topic g)
6.7.1 Education and training for planning and design
The education and training of specialists in wastewater and stormwater management,
like that of other environmental specialist, has become more multi-disciplinary
and multifaceted in recent years. This trend started with the inclusion of
subjects from the related sciences into engineering curricula, especially
chemistry and microbiology, but also biochemistry and physical chemistry, physiology and the associated
analytical methods. Progressively, programmes are now also including subjects
from the social and political sciences with the aim to prepare students and
trainees for the complex tasks of environmental assessment, planning and
management, e.g. economics and finance, law, planning theory, systems analysis, and social anthropology.
Almost all universities and many of the other educational institutions in Western
Europe offer programmes in wastewater and stormwater planning and design as
part of their civil engineering and/or water resources management curricula.
Degree programmes may be part of the curricula for civil engineering, or may
provide options for specialization in such fields as water supply, wastewater
management, or water resources development. There are not many commonalities
among the countries in this respect. Each country has its own tradition and
framework. No up-to-date survey exists which would exhibit details on
orientation, subject coverage or depth or length of the course. The best source
of information are the national professional associations for water pollution
control which exist in all Western European countries (for addresses see
In addition to their regular academic programmes, several postgraduate programmes
exist for environmental matters in some of the countries. Many of these are
broad gauged and focus on meeting the needs for intersectoral and
multi-disciplinary environmental planning and administration. However, there
are also some specialized postgraduate programmes which focus exclusively on
water-related matters, especially water supply and wastewater management. Most
of these are open to students from developing countries. Four cases are
summarized below (for addresses see Section 6.10.4).
Sanitary Engineering Master Programme of
the International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulic and Environmental
Engineering Delft, The Netherlands
The course ends with a MEng. (12 months duration) or a MSC (18 months) .
Participants will be able to carry responsibility in preventing or managing
sanitary engineering problems and/or, specifically, in the execution of project
activities in sanitary engineering, and provide substantial technical inputs
and participate in feasibility studies, and carry managerial responsibilities
in the sector. The MEng. course emphasizes the application of scientific
knowledge whereas the MSc. course includes research, laboratory and computer
analysis, and modeling.
The full programme in sanitary engineering covers water supply, pollution control,
and sector and utility management. The course starts with a common basic
package including: introduction to sanitary engineering, process technology,
chemistry, microbiology, unit operations, computer use, water resources
assessment, water transport and distribution, urban drainage, water and
wastewater treatment. Following this package, students can specialize water
supply, pollution control, and sector utility management. Pollution control
covers more advanced subjects such as waste prevention, treatment and disposal,
solid waste management, cleaner production technologies, industrial wastewater
treatment and sludge management. The final part of the course is devoted to
writing an individual study report.
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a full time (12
months) course in Environmental Engineering with a MSC degree. Following the MSC, studies can be continued
for a PhD degree.
The first half of the year is spent in lectures, tutorials and individual
assignments. The second part consists of project work leading to a
dissertation. Field work may be undertaken in the College laboratories, the
Water Research Centre of the UK, or, partly at least, in some of the developing
countries. The course is modular in nature and offers options in specialist subjects. Each module consists of about 30
hours of lectures per term. The following is an excerpt of the subjects
available: water supply and distribution, water collection systems, water
treatment, wastewater treatment, environmental engineering, chemistry,
hydraulics, urban hydrology and wastewater collection systems, environmental
microbiology, water and health in developing countries, and industrial
wastewater treatment. Many of the specialized lectures are given by experts
from water utilities, consultants, manufacturers and/or research institutions.
Formal links exist with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine,
and the Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management.
University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
The Department of Civil Engineering offers a 12 month course in Environmental
Engineering and a MSC degree and a Diploma.
The course starts with compulsory modules (80 credits) in water chemistry and
biology, water pollution assessment, waster supply engineering and
infrastructure, wastewater engineering wastewater engineering design, solid
waste management, and hazardous waste management. This is followed by a
programme of optional modules (20 credits) chosen from a list which may include
environmental modeling, environmental impact assessment, environmental
engineering and water resources for developing countries, groundwater
engineering design and construction, urban drainage, management and computing.
A dissertation (80 credits) is based on a four-month research project.
Diploma students take the compulsory modules, fewer optional modules (10 credits) and a
dissertation with 30 credits.
Bradford University, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
The Department of Environmental Sciences of the Faculty of Health and Environmental
Sciences offers several MSc courses of interest, e.g. the course in Pollution
Monitoring and Control. This course has evolved from the long-established
degree programme in Environmental Monitoring and has strong ecological
orientation and multi-disciplinary emphasis. It provides training in the
various techniques normally available only is separate disciplines. The
emphasis is on laboratory and analytical procedures. It covers chemical and
biological monitoring, occupational and environmental pollution, environmental
modeling, project development, and research methods. Options include:
ecological principles and applications, environmental law, solid and liquid
waste management, environmental acoustics and noise control, and environmental
management techniques and processes. The part of the course dealing with
wastewater emphasizes the current theory and practice of water and wastewater
treatment both as a science and a technology.
There are related research and PhD programmes within the Departments of Environmental
Sciences, and Environmental Engineering.
6.7.2 Education and training for operation and maintenance of wastewater works
The European universities do not offer full-time instruction on the operation and
maintenance of wastewater works though some organize short courses and/or
seminars dealing with related subjects but these do not normally cover the
skills required at the artisan level for the day-to-day operation and
maintenance of wastewater works. This type of instruction is normally provided
by professional associations with or without the participation of the
regulatory agencies involved. Four cases are described below. Most of the
association also offer continuing education and training for specialists at the
engineering and scientific level, and cover both planning and design and the
operation and maintenance. For addresses, see Sections 6.10.1 and 6.10.4, respectively.
England and Wales
Two examples are noteworthy. Both involve private organizations which provide
training at a charge.
The Certification and Assessment Board for Education and Training for the Water Industry
The Certification and Assessment Board and the Board for Education and Training for/in the Water
Industry (CABRI/BETWI) carries out training aiming at improving O&M through
training and better qualified staff, and ensuring that staff assigned will meet
stipulated requirements. The key instrument in assuring a high quality of
service are the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) which are established
by the BETWI and applied (awarded) by the CABRI in consultation with industry
experts and organizations. The two Boards function for the Water Industry in
the UK. Thus, they are concerned with both water supply and sewerage systems
The National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are established and awarded to qualified personnel whereby a
number of actors (persons and institutions) assume functions in the
certification process, viz. verifiers, mentors/advisors, and the NVQ Centers.
In most cases, it may take a person between 6 and 18 months to achieve a full
NVQ depending upon the support his/her company gives in terms of time to
collect evidence. Once obtained, an NVQ is for life. There are no exams.
However, and "assessor" makes sure that the candidate meets the requirements as
regards the knowledge and understanding. There is no general requirement for
candidates to participate in training courses before undertaking an NVQ but
workshops and courses are offered by some participating institutions.
Having an NVQ, the worker gains a recognized national, and increasingly, international
qualification. His organization will gain the benefit of having a skilled
workforce. The NVQ is also a tool to up-skill the workforce and/or the
individual. Staff moral is boosted, and the NVQ can always be used as part of
succession planning within the organization, and to reinforce organizational
There are five levels of attainment within
the NVQ framework covering all levels of occupational performance and all areas
of employment. For instance, level 1 requires competence in the performance of
a range of activities most of which will be routine and predictable. In
contrast, level 5 involves competence in the application of a significant range
of fundamental principles and complex techniques of a wide and often
unpredictable variety of contexts, and presumes substantial personal autonomy
and often significant responsibility for the work of others and for the
allocation of substantial resources features, accountability, design planning,
execution and evaluation.
Further, there are some 20 NVQ "elements" These may relate to water supply or sewerage
systems. For each element, performance criteria, the range (of the tasks), the
required knowledge and understanding, and evidence requirements are stipulated.
An element may relate, for example, to "tracing water pipes and locating
leaks" or "sewerage maintenance - rectifying faults and damage" Other relate to
sludge incineration or water quality surveillance. Monitoring of the sewage
treatment process, and undertaking laboratory measurements are some of the many
elements identified by the Board.
Water Training International
Water Training International (WTI) is a private training organization which provides
UK based customized training programmes for students from the UK and a large
number of other countries, including European as well as developing ones.
Cooperative arrangements with many other organizations, especially with respect
to the assessment (of qualifications) and accreditation.
WTI´s programme covers many subject besides water, e.g. building and facilities
management, civil engineering, the environment, gas supply, health care
premises and estate management, health, safety and risk assessment, management
and supervisory, mechanical and electrical engineering, and public utilities
distribution. However, a mainstay of WTI's overall programme continues to be
for "Water and Wastewater Design and Operation" More than 100 open courses
were offered in 1996/97, such as: sewerage and sewage treatment design and
maintenance (20), sewerage operation and maintenance (11), wastewater and trade
effluent treatment operations (7), trench support, abrasive wheels and small
plant (4), instrumentation (5), law, finance and administration (14), and technical overview (6).
Two examples are also described for France:
Programmes offered by private water companies
The continuing training of the personnel of the private companies discussed in
Section 7 is given particular attention by each of these firms. They all
maintain training facilities and provide instruction and practical field
training. Extensive training material has been developed but has not been
published. The example of one of these companies speaks for the system as a whole:
- A comprehensive training programme is carried
out by the training center set up by the company covering technical and
managerial aspects. The center integrates the training programme with the
company’s technical facilities, their central laboratory, and their technical
offices for water treatment, hydraulics, O&M methodology, and research.
- During 1998, 108 activities were carried out for
operating personnel (21 activities), for treatment works personnel (7)
engineers and technicians (18), on informatics (17), administration (6),
commercial aspects (5), management and human resources development (10),
quality control (4), and safety (8).
Office International de l´Eau
The Office International de l´Eau, a
government-sponsored yet independent organization, allocates about 50% of its
resources to the continuing education and training at all levels and in many
fields of water and wastewater, including operation and maintenance. It
maintains a training center at Limoges. During 1998, forty-nine activities
related to wastewater management: on sewers (12 activities), sewage treatment
(17), pumping (3), central technical operations (6), maintenance (7), and on
general management (4).