Drinking Water Treatment

Course 2 of 3: XSeries in Water Management 7 weeks total 6 - 8 hours each week

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About this course

This course focuses on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment. Unit processes, involved in the treatment chain, are discussed as well as the physical, chemical and biological processes involved. The emphasis is on the effect of treatment on water quality and the dimensions of the unit processes in the treatment chain. After the course one should be able to recognise the process units, describe their function, and make basic calculations for a preliminary design of a drinking water treatment plant.

The course consists of 4 modules:

  1. Introduction to drinking water treatment. In this module you learn to describe the important disciplines, schemes and evaluation criteria involved in the design phase.
  2. Water quality. In this module you learn to identify the drinking water quality parameters to be improved and explain what treatment train or scheme is needed.
  3. Groundwater treatment. In this module you learn to calculate the dimensions of the groundwater treatment processes and draw groundwater treatment schemes.
  4. Surface water treatment. In this module you learn to calculate the dimensions of the surface water treatment processes and draw surface water treatment schemes.

This course in combination with the courses “Introduction to Water and Climate” and “Introduction to the Treatment of Urban Sewage” forms the Water XSeries, by DelftX.

What you’ll learn

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Recognize the process units in urban water services, focusing on basic drinking water technologies
  • Describe the function of these process units
  • Describe the physical and chemical processes involved
  • Make simple design calculations on drinking water treatment plants

Meet Your Instructors

Luuk Rietveld

Professor of Urban Water Cycle Technology at Delft University of Technology Luuk Rietveld is professor of Urban Water Cycle Technology at Delft University of Technology. After finalizing his studies in Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology in 1987, he worked, until 1991, as lecturer/researcher in Sanitary Engineering at the Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique. Between 1991 and 1994, he was employed at the Management Centre for International Co-operation, and since 1994 he has had an appointment at the Department of Water Management of Delft University of Technology. In 2005, he defended his PhD thesis entitled "Improving Operation of Drinking Water Treatment through Modelling".

Doris van Halem

Associate Professor, Sanitary Engineering at Delft University of Technology Doris van Halem is Associate Professor within the Department of Water Management, section Sanitary Engineering of Delft University of Technology. Her research has an international orientation with an emphasis on understanding natural processes for development of innovative, sustainable water technologies. As Scientific Director of TU Delft Global Drinking Water Programme, Dr. van Halem is in charge of drinking water research with and in the Global South. She graduated from Delft University of Technology in Civil Engineering and Geosciences with a cum laude MSc degree (2007). In 2011 she completed her PhD research (with honours) on subsurface iron and arsenic removal for drinking water supply in Bangladesh. Currently she supervises BSc, MSc and PhD students, in their studies towards development of new, smart drinking water solutions.  

Experience Level


Learning Partner

Delft University of Technology

Program Type



Biology & Life Sciences Environmental Studies