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Inspiring online training Basics of Wastewater treatment

Gepubliceerd op 9 August 2021

The first interactive online Basics of Wastewater Treatment course was held from June 22nd till July 13th. Participants from the European and African continent joined the sessions together with World Water Academy trainer Helle van der Roest, wastewater expert from Royal HaskoningDHV. Participants had a wide variety in background experience and existing knowledge, and a communal wish to learn more about the wastewater treatment processes.


The online Basics of Wastewater Treatment course teaches the full process treating wastewater in a treatment plant. Using interactive teaching methods like games, assignments and group work the different process steps are explained. Themes like legislation, physical, chemical and biological treatment of wastewater are featured. After completing the course, participants fully comprehend the full treatment process.

The course was virtually held in 4 half days. We kicked off the first day with introductions and sharing previous knowledge with participants in the group. Then the water cycle and the pre-treatment of wastewater were further explained by the trainer. Activated sludge systems, secondary treatment and sludge dewatering were discussed later in the course.

The training includes peer-to-peer learning where all participants actively share their knowledge and experience and illustrate the situation and working practices in their country. In the Netherlands, for example, phosphorus is removed from wastewater and then re-used . This was a new concept for participants from Botswana and something they wished to learn more about, as well as nutrient removal.

“It was very helpful, I think I’m getting there. I learned a lot especially about nutrient removal.”

Also, modern innovations like for example the Nereda technology were discussed. Especially participants from the African continent were very inspired and eager to learn more about other Dutch innovations in wastewater treatment. The participants exercised with arguing which technology would be useful in their local context and why.

“Yes I feel very inspired. I would like more information on oxygen in relation to temperature. Like in Botswana the process temperature is high. How do you adjust to a suitable system in Botswana?”

“It was a great lesson today. I found it interesting especially the sludge. That the reason why it floats and overfloods. It's because the sludge doesn't have enough food. I'm going to think about that.”

At the end of the course the participants could argue which designs would fit best on their local plants and in their country. For example, when the trainer asked the participants to choose why they would rather choose a belt press or decanter? The participants had a great local arguments why which equipment would fit best.

“Take a decanter, because from the explanation it looks like this equipment  is easier to operate. Fewer parts to clean and maintain. Belt press looks like potential to clog and requires cleaning and therefore water and more expertise."

The overall course was evaluated with a high score. The participants were inspired and excited by what they learned and are looking forward to join more courses in the future.

”We will be very good equipped now. With the knowledge to judge designs."