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ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

Advanced Water Quality Laboratory Management

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Participants in this specialization will be introduced to water laboratory quality management in catchment, urban and rural environments, and provided with the technical knowledge and management skills necessary for decision making and environmental planning.

Attendees are supplied with theoretical and practical knowledge about water quality; water and wastewater treatment processes; flow of material and mass balances; physical-chemical treatment processes; municipal wastewater; biological treatment processes and sludge treatment and disposal. After completion they will be able to make informed decisions about the treatment, operation and control of water and wastewater treatment plants.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the delegates will be able to:

  • Identify the water quality impacts of human activities on aquatic ecosystems, as well as alternative remedial actions, under different levels of environmental stress and in different socio-economic contexts.
  • Explain principles, concepts and instruments of the main national and international water and environmental laws, and common and desired institutional and management arrangements.
  • Successfully interpret, design and optimize water quality monitoring and assessment schemes in the watershed, for example, by using statistical and modelling tools.
  • Critically analyze and evaluate alternative water quality management programme in the watershed under different socio-economic and legal contexts, in a flexible way and often under data-poor conditions.
  • Conduct - either independently or in a multidisciplinary team - appropriate research in the field of water quality management, including the formulation of research questions and hypotheses, the selection and application of adequate research methodologies and techniques, and the formulation of well-founded conclusions and recommendations.

Course Outline


  • The course allow the participants to broaden and deepen their understanding of specific management issues, and to learn to apply the necessary tools with regard to the management of water quality. These are:-

  • Water Quality Assessment provides an overview of common and critical water pollution parameters, their indicators, sources, causes and effects, and different water quality monitoring and modelling techniques.

  • Wetlands for Water Quality deals with the role of natural and constructed wetlands in wastewater treatment, especially in the tropics.

  • Environmental Planning highlights policy analysis techniques and instruments.

  • Watershed and River Basin Management focuses on land and water resources, as well as natural and anthropogenic interactions, at the watershed level, but within the context of the river basin as a whole.

  • Aquatic Systems examines environmental problems related to the use of and impacts on freshwater ecosystems.

  • Water and Environmental Law and Institutions covers environmental legislation and institutional arrangements in environmental policy formulation.

Background aspects

  • South African water sources, hydrology and geohydrology
  • Basic water microbiology
  • Basic water chemistry
  • Biological, chemical and physical water quality parameters
  • Point and diffuse sources of pollution
  • National Water Act and other regulatory requirements

Treatment processes

  • Overview of water and wastewater treatment processes
  • Flow of material and mass balances
  • Physical-chemical treatment processes
  • Municipal wastewater
  • Biological treatment processes
  • Sludge treatment and disposal

Course Methodology

A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:

  • (30%) Based on Case Studies
  • (30%) Techniques
  • (30%) Role Play
  • (10%) Concepts
  • Pre-test and Post-test
  • Variety of Learning Methods
  • Lectures
  • Case Studies and Self Questionaires
  • Group Work
  • Discussion
  • Presentation

Who should attend

This course is intended for all young to mid-career professionals in technical as well as management positions, with responsibilities or specific interests in water and environmental science and in maintaining environmental integrity in relation to human development as well as engineers, scientists and technologists involved in water laboratory quality management and control, and in the operation of water and wastewater treatment plants.


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