What you will study
The module consists of two introductory units and four specialist blocks covering pollution prevention related to water, noise, air and solid waste. Modelling using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets is an important part of the module. Video programmes show you practice in the field, and legal aspects of pollution control in the UK are outlined. This module will appeal to anyone who wants to specialise in the technical aspects of environmental protection. For ease of reference, technical data and a glossary are included in the study materials. The module is delivered entirely online, thus allowing study worldwide.
The first introductory unit – Essential environmental science – provides the background material for the four main blocks of study.
The second one – Financial assessment – offers means of assessing the economic viability of pollution control options.
Block 1: Water pollution control
This block begins with the hydrological cycle, the natural aquatic environment, and components normally present in surface waters. It then considers the types of pollutants that might arise, and the impacts that they have on watercourses. The block goes on to discuss the principles of biological treatment of sewage, sludge treatment, reuse and disposal, and water quality monitoring. Computer modelling to reveal the impacts of major pollutants on watercourses (such as carbonaceous material, nitrogen, phosphorus and coliforms), is then introduced. There are several examples to enable you to apply the models to pollution situations that you might come across.
Block 2: Noise control
This block begins by reviewing basic principles and concepts of sound propagation such as units, criteria and indices. The second section deals with assessment of noise levels, including the terminology of measurement and various criteria indices. The third section considers outdoor sound (such as transport noise) and factors that affect its propagation. Barriers for noise control are discussed at this stage. The final three sections look at the many options available for noise control: at source; for the pathway between the source and the receiver, with absorption playing a major role; and then noise control at the receiver.
Block 3: Air quality management
This block begins with an introduction to the atmosphere around us. Meteorology, which plays an important part in air quality, is covered next, together with the main types of air pollutants, their sources, and their effects on humans and the surroundings. Air pollutants need to be measured before control decisions can be made, so the block details the main technologies and systems used to assess pollutants. Control and elimination of air pollutants is a vast topic, and several methods are described. Finally, the block outlines methods of modelling and predicting air pollution in order to carry out environmental impact assessments.
Block 4: Solid waste management
This block concentrates on municipal and similar waste. After reviewing the nature and quantities of waste produced in the UK and India, it goes on to discuss the technology and environmental impacts of waste collection, recycling/composting, incineration and landfill. Models are introduced to assist in assessing the environmental impact of these options. Finally, the block considers ways of devising strategies to manage the whole waste stream, and introduces models and other tools to devise and assess alternative strategies from the technical, environmental, legislative and economic standpoints.