University of Wisconsin-Madison

Print Preview

Return to previous page

Interdisciplinary Professional Programs

Water Quality in Distribution Systems and Building Plumbing See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Learn the important principles, trends, and technologies to improve and control water quality in your distribution systems and premise plumbing.

This course includes:

  • Lead and copper rule compliance and revisions
  • Optimized Corrosion Control Treatment (OCCT)
  • Microbial regrowth and biostability of water
  • Disinfectant decay and byproduct formation
  • Pipe corrosion and byproducts
  • Microbial and chemical aspects of corrosion
  • Red water and black water
  • Lead, copper, and iron release and transport
  • Water quality in home and building plumbing
  • Legionella occurrence
  • Iron and manganese sedimentation and re-suspension
  • Case studies and class workshops

Attendees will also receive a copy of the new book, What’s Bugging Your Pipes: How Microorganisms Affect Plumbing Systems, authored by your co-instructor Abigail Cantor. 

Who Should Attend?

  • Water engineers, operators, and managers
  • Consulting engineers
  • Federal agencies and military bases
  • Public health professionals
  • Regulatory staff

Course Outline

Properties of Distribution Systems and Building Plumbing

  • Lead and copper rule
  • Water quality issues and public health
  • Water age, residence time
  • Surface area, velocity, pressure
  • Cross connections, backflow prevention, main breaks

Regulations Governing Distribution System Water Quality

  • Lead and copper rule
  • Total coliform rule
  • Surface water treatment rules (interim and enhanced)
  • Disinfection byproduct rules (stage 1 and stage 2)

Maintaining Adequate Disinfectant Residual

  • Microbial regrowth vs. contamination
  • Bulk water growth vs. biofilm growth
  • Nitrification
  • Chlorine and chloramine chemistry

Controlling Disinfection Byproducts in the Distribution System

  • Disinfection byproduct formation and control
  • Chlorine byproducts
  • Chloramine byproducts
  • Trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, nitrosamines

Controlling Microbial Growth in the Distribution System

  • Biofilms
  • Microbe regulations
  • Treatment techniques
  • Disinfectant decay and biostability

New Perspectives on Water Quality in the Distribution System

  • What shapes water quality in a specific system?
  • Lead, copper, cast iron, and galvanized pipe issues
  • Investigating a water system
  • Optimized corrosion control treatment (OCCT)

Case Studies and Examples

  • Distribution system monitoring
  • Byproducts of metal corrosion
  • Surface water and groundwater
  • Biofilms and biostability
  • Premise plumbing issues
  • Legionella occurrence

Control of Red Water, Black Water, and Turbidity Events

  • Iron and manganese sedimentation and re-suspension
  • Water supply versus pipe materials
  • Mortar and epoxy liners
  • Uni-directional flushing


"This course brought deep understanding of water quality to help execute our decision making."

"I was really impressed by the knowledge and content of the instructors."

"I now have a much greater understanding of treatment and maintenance issues to improve water quality in our system."


Abigail Cantor

Abigail F. Cantor, PE is a chemical engineer specializing in water quality investigations and proactive prevention of water quality issues, and is the founder of Process Research Solutions, LLC in Madison, Wisconsin. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of drinking water quality. She is the author of the book “Water Distribution System Monitoring: A Practical Approach for Evaluating Drinking Water Quality” and the co-author of the AWWA Manual of Water Supply Practices M58: Internal Corrosion Control in Water Distribution Systems. She is a member of the American Water Works Association Lead and Copper Rule Task Advisory Workgroup. She earned her BS degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and her MS degree in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University in New York City.

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.

Ned Paschke

Ned W. Paschke, PE, is a professional engineer and board certified environmental engineer specializing in water and wastewater facilities. He has 40 years of experience as a consultant, manager, and university educator in this field.  Paschke has directed nationally recognized water and wastewater courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he is a Professor of Practice for the UW-Madison Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Prior to joining the university, Paschke was Director of Engineering for the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and a Hydraulic Consulting Engineer at national and international engineering firms.  He has been awarded the UW-Madison EPD Teaching Excellence award and the L. F. Harza Award for his technical publications and seminars.  He is also a Fellow and Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a J. William Fulbright Specialist, and the founder of Paschke Water Analytics, LLC.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!