Sanitation and Public Health

IWRM W4170 Sanitation and Public Health
Exam Code 4170
Credit Points 5 ECTS
Term Winter
Module Coordination Prof. Michael Sturm
Lecturers Prof. Michael Sturm, Dr. Andrea Rechenburg
Workload (h) 50 Attendance 100 Self-Study
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of water science
Competencies After completion of this module the participants

  • The issues of public health
  • Wastewater drainage
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Appropriate techniques for drainage and treatment
  • Assess these techniques
  • Pre-design drainage systems and wastewater treatment plants
Content Public health

  • Water-related diseases
  • Water supply and public health
  • Sanitation, water reuse and public health
  • Interlinkages between water management and health

Environmental aspects of wastewater

  • Quality issues in watercourses
  • Quality demands for treated wastewater (regulations)

Wastewater composition and quantity

  • Domestic wastewater
  • Storm water


  • Centralised systems (separate , combined)
  • Design (hydraulics)
  • Construction (pipe materials)
  • Damages and rehabilitation
  • Decentralised systems

Wastewater treatment

  • Mechanical treatment (screening, grit removal, sedimentation)
  • Biological treatment (anaerobic; aerobic: activated sludge trickling filters)
  • Nutrient (P,N) removal
  • Ponds and wetlands
  • Alternative on-site treatment systems
  • Wastewater reuse


  • Sources and characteristics
  • Treatment
  • Reuse and disposal
Teaching Method Lectures with inputs of basic knowledge, Assignment with presentation to special subjects, Field visits
Assesment Method Written Examination (60%), Assignment with presentation (20%+ 20%)
Recommended Reading

Course scriptMetcalf & Eddy: Wastewater Engineering. McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Crites & Tschobanoglous: Small and decentralized wastewater management systems. McGraw-Hill, 1998.

Tilley, al.: Compendium of sanitation systems and technologies. Zürich 2008

WHO Water, Sanitation and Health resources:

Feachem, Richard G.; Bradley, David J.; Garelick, Hemda; Mara, D. Duncan:Sanitation and disease : health aspects of excreta and wastewater management, 1983

Version 30.01.2014

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