CIDWT Educational Curriculum for Onsite/Decentralized Wastewater Treatment

Lead Institutions: NC State University and the University of Arkansas

Funding source: EPA through Washington University in St. Louis

Project Completed June, 2005


The Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment developed these technology-based materials through a joint effort among Consortium delegates from public agencies (state, counties and towns) and private companies (consultants, manufacturers, engineers, designers soil scientists, and service providers). The projects involved more than 40 training and education specialists in the onsite wastewater field from throughout the U.S. and Canada. The goal was to increase professionalism and improve the state of practice in the onsite/decentralized wastewater field.

The deliverables included not only the Practitioner and University Curricula, but also an outline for an overall conceptual curriculum that included a full range of topics that should be included in the complete body of knowledge in this field.

Overall Curriculum Outline

The combined outline represents a conceptual curriculum that includes a listing of materials developed under both the Practitioner and University Curriculum Projects and lays the ground work for further curriculum development in the future. The main headings of the outline are provided below. To view the entire outline, click on the Overall Combined Curriculum link above.

  1. Fundamental principles
  2. Planning
  3. System and materials management
  4. Wastewater processes
  5. Soil and site evaluation
  6. On-site technology
  7. Troubleshooting and resolution
  8. Regulatory and permit issues

The Practitioner Curriculum

The Practitioner Curriculum is an effort to formalize and coordinate training opportunities for field practitioners. The goal of the curriculum is to

  • Improve field practitioners’ abilities to effectively utilize onsite and decentralized technologies and improve the State of Practice (SOP)
  • Enhance opportunities for the general population to make the best use of the decentralized approach to their community’s wastewater treatment requirements.

This project provides a consistent technical educational base from which to launch nationwide training programs, but the materials produced are readily electronically modifiable to address specific local needs. The materials currently developed include a Model Practitioner Curriculum that can be used to organize training programs as well as four detailed modules.

To preview the materials in PDF format click on The Practitioner Curriculum link above.

The University Curriculum

Under the University Curriculum project, appropriate modules were developed for teaching a one-semester laboratory and field course in onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment and natural water reclamation systems.  The target audience for the materials is third- and fourth-year engineering students.  The modules can also be adapted for undergraduate and graduate-level university courses in Environmental Health and other non-engineering curricula.  The format is such that the materials are accessible and modifiable using software that instructors will have readily available.

To preview the materials in PDF format, click on The University Curriculum link above.


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