Essentials of Drinking Water Treatment

Upcoming dates (1)

Jun. 25-27, 2024

Madison, WI or Live Online

Course Overview

Clean and safe drinking water is one of the most important assets in any city or community.  This course will provide you with a good working knowledge of treatment processes, technology developments, regulations, and case studies to help you improve your water treatment facilities, operations, and future projects.  Topics include:

  • Conventional and advanced water treatment
  • Coagulation, flocculation, clarification, filtration 
  • Disinfection strategies: chlorine, chloramines, ozone, UV 
  • Groundwater and surface water characteristics 
  • Membrane filtration processes and reverse osmosis 
  • Current issues, pipe corrosion, emerging contaminants
  • Water quality in distribution systems and building plumbing

Who Should Attend?

  • Drinking water system engineers, managers, and operators
  • Consulting engineers
  • Water equipment manufacturers
  • Executives and directors of water-related organizations
  • Public health professionals

Additional Information

Attendees can earn a digital badge as evidence of the knowledge they obtained during the course. Digital badges are micro-credentials that can be earned by successfully completing application exercises woven throughout the course. Click here for information on digital badges.

Course Outline

Overview of Drinking Water Treatment and Current Issues

  • Regulatory drivers
  • Emerging contaminants and technologies

Coagulation and Flocculation

  • Chemistry of coagulation
  • Mixing
  • Sedimentation
  • Dissolved air flotation
  • Granular media filters

Disinfection Processes and Technologies

  • Chlorine, chloramines
  • Ozone, ultraviolet, chlorine dioxide
  • Microbial growth in distribution systems

Comparing Surface Water and Groundwater Treatment Plants

  • Types of treatment plants
  • Groundwater vs. surface water raw sources
  • Major processes, typical flow rates

Owner Insights: Design and Operation of Water Treatment Facilities

  • Designing for operations and maintenance
  • Flexibility, simplicity, costs, procurement, efficiency

Membrane Filtration Processes

  • Micro, ultra, and nano-filtration
  • Reverse osmosis, electrodialysis reversal
  • Membrane life, fouling, cleaning frequency
  • Concentrate disposal

Distribution System Water Quality

  • Pipe corrosion
  • Disinfection by-products
  • Premise plumbing issues

Case Studies in Drinking Water Treatment

  • Examples of small and large water treatment plants
  • Meeting new regulations and improving water quality
  • Problems that can impact cost, schedule, and operation


"Excellent knowledge, delivered in an enjoyable way."

"The best course I have had at UW-Madison."

"Top-notch interesting teachers. Thank you!"

"One of the very best I've attended in a long history of attending engineering presentations."


Gregory Harrington

Greg Harrington, PhD, is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His research interests include waterborne pathogens, natural organic matter, and physical/chemical processes such as ozonation, chloramination, coagulation, and ultraviolet irradiation.  In addition to his teaching and research, he is the Pieper Family Foundation Chair for Servant Leadership and has served as president of the Water Utility Board for the Madison Water Utility.

Chris Catlin

Chris Catlin, PE, is an operations consultant with Jacobs. He previously served as superintendent of plant operations for the Minneapolis Water Works, managing a 180-MGD lime-softening/membrane plant. His experience includes groundwater, surface water, conventional treatment, membrane treatment, radium removal, and ammonia/nitrification. He is a certified water plant operator in Iowa and Minnesota.

Michael Oneby

Michael Oneby, PE, is a Technical Leader for Olsson Associates, specializing in water treatment processes.  His work has included the analysis, design, and upgrade of municipal and industrial treatment facilities across the United States, including membranes, ozone, conventional and advanced treatment.  He is also president of the International Ozone Association.

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Adib Amini

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