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Unit of study_

CHNG5005: Wastewater Engineering

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Key learning objectives are to provide students with an overview of wastewater treatment and the range of technologies currently used. The key issues considered are: wastewater characterisation; the cost of wastewater treatment and disposal; the (Australian) regulatory framework; primary, secondary and tertiary treatment options; solids management and water reuse; process integration; an introduction to process simulation.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CHNG5005
Academic unit Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

Knowledge of mass and energy balances, mathematics, process design, biochemical processes, and particle mechanics at a level typical of an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. Assumed knowledge is equivalent to material covered in CHNG1103 AND CHNG2801 AND CHNG2802 AND CHNG3803 AND CHNG3804 AND CHNG3805

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Geoffrey Barton,
Lecturer(s) Geoffrey Barton,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final exam
Final examination (held during formal end of semester examination period).
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4
Assignment group assignment Group assignment (Part 1)
Written group report (see Assessment Summary).
10% Mid-semester break
Due date: 14 Apr 2023 at 17:00
Several weeks to complete report.
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz 1
See Assessment Summary.
15% Week 06
Due date: 28 Mar 2023 at 10:00
90 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment group assignment Group assignment (Part 2)
Written group report (see Assessment Summary).
10% Week 09
Due date: 28 Apr 2023 at 17:00
Several weeks to complete report.
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2
See Assessment Summary.
15% Week 13
Due date: 23 May 2023 at 11:00
1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Quiz 1: Completed in-class and will focus on material in the first five lectures/tutorials of the course.
  • Quiz 2: Completed in-class (using Canvas) and will consist of a set of True/False questions covering all material in the course. Each student receives a different set randomly selected from a database of possible questions.
  • Group assignment: This assignment (maximum group size of 3) will involve a guided (via a series of questions) exploration of the design and performance of a simplified wastewater treatment plant. This group assignment will be submitted in two parts. 
  • Final exam: This assessment task will be completed during the end of semester formal examination period. Questions in this examination will cover all material covered in the course.

Detailed information for each assessment task can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Late penalties may be imposed in-line with published University guidelines.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 Wastewater characterisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Wastewater treatment and disposal costs Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Overview of treatment technologies Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 Secondary (i.e. biological) treatment options Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 07 Diversity of secondary treatment options Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 High-rate aerobic bio-reactors Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Tertiary treatment options Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Sludge/solids handling and water reuse Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 11 Process integration Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 12 Introduction to process simulation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand alternative technologies (physical, chemical and biological) that may be used as effective treatments for domestic and industrial wastewaters.
  • LO2. Appreciate wastewater treatment as a complex multi-dimensional (operational, financial, environmental and regulatory) issue.
  • LO3. Work effectively in a group environment.
  • LO4. Communicate effectively both orally and via written reports.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes to course content have been made since this unit was last offered.


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