Fall 2004

Bruce M. Thomson

(505) 277-4729


CE 436/536

Biological Wastewater Treatment


Week No.




Introduction, course overview, basic microbiology



Microbial energetics, stoichiometry, & nutrient reqts.



Microbial kinetics, application to design of treatment systems



Reactor theory & Biological Reactors



Biofilm Kinetics



Activated Sludge Process



Exam No. 1



Sludge Recycle, Lagoons



Aerobic Biofilm Processes




7.9, 8.5



7.10, 8.10


Natural & on-site treatment systems - Land application, wetlands, septic tanks etc.



Anaerobic Processes



Exam No. 2



Sludge digestion & composting



Biological destruction of hazardous wastes



Biological remediation of contaminated groundwater



Text:     Metcalf & Eddy (2003).  Wastewater Engineering: Treatment and Reuse, 4th. ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 1819 p.


Grading:            HW - 15% (Graduate students will be assigned additional work)

                                    Midterm Exams - 40%

                                    Project - 20%

                                    Final Exam - 30%


CE 436/536

Guidelines for Course Project




            The course project is meant to encourage the students to perform an independent investigation in an area of biological waste treatment or groundwater remediation of the student's choosing.  The principal requirement is that the work be an independent analysis by the student, chosen with the consent and advice of the instructor.  The project will likely consist of a critical review of the research literature on a chosen topic, although carefully selected laboratory or field projects may be performed as well.  One of the main criteria for grading will be completeness of the project, therefore it is important to carefully define the scope of the project.


            The phrase “a critical review of the research literature” means a library search to determine the current state of the art.  While textbook citations are a good place to start a literature search, usually by the time material appears in a textbook the technology is pretty mature, therefore they are usually discouraged in literature reviews.  For the purposes of this assignment, you should expect to review at least 10 research papers.  Students at remote sites can usually find citations through the UNM Library’s search engines.  I prefer to search the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts through the CSEL web page (http://zoobert.unm.edu/newcsel/).


            The paper must be typed and should be written using the same style as used by the ASCE journal Environmental Engineering.  The total length of the paper must be less than or equal to 13 pages, including a ~500 word abstract on a separate sheet, figures, and references.  The papers should be typed using 12 point Times Roman font with 1˝ line spacing.  Add a cover page and Table of Contents, but these won’t count against the page limit.  An appendix may be attached to the paper if a large amount of supporting data or information is to be included in the submittal, but the paper itself must be self contained without this data.  If your paper does not comply with these guidelines it will not be graded.


Possible Project Topics

1.     Anaerobic systems for treating specific contaminants such as solvents, metals, or pesticides

2.     Biological processes for removing N or P

3.     Biodegradation of a specific class of hazardous wastes such as TCE, explosives, or pesticides

4.     Review and analysis of a specific process for bioremediation of groundwater contamination

5.     Use of genetically engineered organisms for degrading specific organic compounds

6.     Process control of biological treatment systems

7.     Applications of biological-membrane technology to waste treatment



1.         1 page outline of proposed project due 9/23, written reports due 11/25.

2.         Grading criteria for projects:

            a.  Adequate coverage of topic - 30 %

            b.  Technical content - 40 %

            c.  Professionalism of presentation or written report - 30 %



Bailey, J.E., Ollis, D.F., Biochemical Engineering Fundamentals, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, NY, 753 p., (1977).

Banfield, J.F., and K.H. Nealson, (eds.) Geomicrobiology:  Interactions Between Microbes and Minerals, Revs. in Mineralogy, Vol. 35,  Min. Soc. of Am., Washington, D.C., 448 p. (1997).

Benefield, L.D., Randall, C.W., Biological Process Design for Wastewater Treatment, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 526 p., (1980).

Busch, A.W., Aerobic Biological Treatment of Waste Waters:  Principles and Practice, Oligodynamics Press, Houston, TX, 416 p., (1971).

Chapelle, F.H., Ground-Water Microbiology & Geochemistry, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY, 424 p., (1992).

Gaudy, A.F. Jr., Gaudy, E.T., Microbiology for Environmental Scientists and Engineers, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, NY, 736 p., (1980).

Grady, C.P.L. Jr., G.T. Daigger, H.C. Lim, Biological Wastewater Treatment, 2nd ed., Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY, 963 p., (1999).

Greenberg, A.E., Clesceri, L.S., Eaton, A.D., Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 18th ed., Am. Pub. Health Assoc., Am. Water Works Assoc., Water Environ. Fed., Washington, D.C., (1992).

Horan, N.J., Biological Wastewater Treatment Systems:  Theory and Operation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chichester, GB, 310 p., (1990).

Lehninger, A.L., Bioenergetics, 2nd ed., W.A. Benjamin, Inc., Menlo Park, CA, 245 p., (1971).

Metcalf & Eddy, Inc., Wastewater Engineering:  Treatment, Disposal, Reuse, 3rd ed., revised by G. Tchobanoglous and F.L. Burton, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, NY,1334 p., (1991).

Middlebrooks, E.J., Middlebrooks, C.H., Reynolds, J.H., Watters, G.Z., Reed, S.C., George, D.B., Wastewater Stabilization Lagoon Design, Performance and Upgrading, Macmillan Pub. Co., Inc., New York, NY, 356 p., (1982).

National Research Council, In Situ Bioremediation:  When Does It Work? Natl. Acad. Press, Washington, D.C., 207 p., (1993).

Rittmann, B.E., McCarty, P.L. (2001).  Environmental Biotechnology:  Principles and Applications, McGraw Hill, New York, NY, 754 p.

Schroeder, E.D., Water and Wastewater Treatment, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, NY, 370 p., (1977).

Speece, R.E., Anaerobic Biotechnology for Industrial Wastewaters, Archae Press, Nashville, TN, 394 p., (1996).

Stanier, R.Y., Ingraham, J.L., Wheelis, M.L., Painter, P.R., The Microbial World, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 689 p., (1986).

USEPA, Design Manual:  Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems, EPA 625/1-80-012, Muni. Environ. Res. Lab., Cincinnati, OH, 391 p., (1980).

USEPA,  Process Design Manual:  Sludge Treatment and Disposal, EPA 625/1-79-011, Muni. Environ. Res. Lab., Cincinnati, OH, (1979).





                        Biotechnology & Bioengineering

GB 1001 G76            Groundwater Monitoring Review (Natl. Gound Water Assoc.)

S 1 J78                        Jour. of Environmental Quality

TC 1 W3            Water Resources Research (Am. Geophys. Union)

TD 1 A32            Envi. Engr. (Am. Soc. of Civil Engrs.)

TD 1 E55            Environmental Science and Technology (Am. Chem. Soc.)

TD 172 C5            CRC Crit. Rev. in Envi. Control

TD 201 A512            Jour. of the American Water Works Association

TD 403 G7            Ground Water (Natl. Ground Water Assoc.)

TD 420 W3            Water Research

TD 511 S4            Water Environment Research  (Formerly JWPCF)