Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
CMET 211
Course Title:
Environmental Quality
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces physical, chemical and biological parameters relating to the quality of water. Presents sampling systems, data analysis techniques and computational methods, including mathematical models. Prerequisites: CMET 123, CH 104, and WR 115. Prerequisites/concurrent: WR 121. Recommended: CMET 131. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

The student will be able to:
1. Define and describe basic parameters with respect to aquatic ecosystems & environment.
2. Perform water quality related calculations.
3. Describe water quality modeling with respect to the "Streeter- Phelps" equation for dissolved oxygen depression.
4. Know the basics of water quality sampling.
5. Analyze basic water quality data.
6. Classify and describe lakes.
7. Describe basic concepts in water and wastewater chemistry.
8. Define basic concepts in water and wastewater biology.
9. Describe basic concepts in water and wastewater treatment.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Exams, homework, lab participation, worksheets, reports, and various projects or papers will be used to assess outcomes.
  • Specific evaluation procedures will be defined during the first week of class.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

1. Basic Ecological Interrelationships
A. Temperature with respect to thermal pollution, solubility of ions, species shift and reproduction, and dissolved oxygen saturation.
B. Dissolved oxygen with respect on aquatic life, photosynthesis, silt, aerobic processes, anaerobic processes, pollutants, State and Federal ambient water quality standards, DO depression, dredging, NOD, COD, turbidity, and CO2.
C. pH with respect to effect on fish, CO2, pOH, water treatment, metal solubility, photosynthesis, neutralization reactions, and corrosion control.
D. Suspended solids with respect to effect on fish, bacteria, and geographic location.
E. Dissolved solids with respect to pH of soils and sediment.
F. Acidity, in terms of CO2 and mineral acidity, with respect to acid mine drainage, and laboratory titration.
G. Alkalinity in terms of hydroxide, carbonate and bicarbonate alkalinity, and laboratory titration.
H. Dissolved carbonate with respect to sources and sinks.
I. Biochemical oxygen demand as a bioassay, as an indicator of organic loading and pollution, and with respect to nitrogenous demand, nitrification interferences, DO, seasonal impacts and COD.
J. Chemical oxygen demand as a measure of pollution strength, in correlation with BOD, in comparison with the BOD test, and with respect to biological degradation.
K. Nitrogen with respect to nitrogenous oxygen demand, nitrite, ammonia, the global nitrogen cycle (anthropomorphic and natural components), concept of rising sludge, methemoglobinemia, drinking water, algae, fertilizer, toxicity to fish, and algal growth.
L. Phosphorus with respect to buffering, fertilization, and algal growth.
M. Turbidity with respect to sanitary significance and measurement technique.
N. Color with respect to sanitary significance.
O. Chloride with respect to sanitary significance.
P. Hardness with respect to sanitary significance. Reaction with soap, causes, laboratory replacement reaction, and types of hardness.
Q. Solids with respect to size, effects on delta formation, setting criteria, and scour velocity.
2. Water Quality Calculations
A. Normality, equivalent weights, milli-equivalence, and molarity in neutralization reactions.
B. Hydrogen ion and hydroxyl ion concentrations from pH and P.H.OH.
C. Conversions between ppm, mg/l, ppb, and ppt.
D. Decay rates for BOD using semi-log paper techniques.
E. DO saturation levels and DO deficit with respect to percent saturation.
F. Reaeration rates based on physical parameters.
G. DO depression, and time to critical DO, incorporating effects of temperature, flow rate and physical river configuration via the Streeter-Phelps equation.
H. Stream flow rate based on stream velocity and cross-sectional area.
I. Mass balance for stream loading.
J. Conversions between lb/MG and mg/L.
K. Allowable plant discharge based on allowable in stream DO for various seasonal conditions.
L. Desirable plant treatment levels based on Oregon Revised Statutes for a given river basin.
M. Light extension coefficients using semi-log paper techniques.
3. Water Quality Modeling
A. Critical DO depression
B. Superposition
C. Model limitations
4. Water Quality Sampling
A. Sample fixing
B. Standard methods for water and wastewater analysis
C. Sampling kits
D. Stratification
E. Background
F. Flow
G. Soils
H. Special studies
I. Holding times for samples
J. Records
K. Microbial action
L. Supply systems and wells
M. BOD shifts with time and temperature
N. Absorption and interference
O. Time to sample treatment plants
5. Water quality data
A. Water in various portions of the U.S.
B. Rivers around the world for various ionic constituents
C. Seasonal comparison of river parameters and flow rates
6. Lakes
A. Zones
B. Life types
C. Red tide
D. Annual temperature
E. Stability
F. Nutrient transfer
G. Winds
7. Aquatic Environment
A. Drainage basin
B. Ionization
C. Conductivity
D. Common ion effect
E. Secondary salt effect
F. Mixing Zone
G. Pollution
H. Types of pollution
I. Methods of analysis for pollution
J. Sediment deposits
K. Non-point sources and point sources
L. Benthic and pelagic environment
M. Ecosystem N. Nutrients, eutrophication, control of eutrophication, limiting factors, phosphorus cycle and food.
O. Acids, bases and solutions
8. Water and Wastewater Chemistry
A. Elements, radicals, and compounds
B. Chemical water analyses
C. PH and chemical reactions
D. Gas solubility and alkalinity
E. Colloids and coagulation
F. Organic compounds
G. Organic matter in wastes
H. Laboratory chemical analyses
9. Water and Wastewater Biology
A. Bacteria and fungi
B. Algae
C. Protozoa and Multi-cellular Animals
D. Fishes
E. Aquatic Food Chain
F. Waterborne Diseases
G. Indicator Organisms for Water Quality
H. Tests for the Coliform Group
I. Biochemical Oxygen Demand
J. Biological Treatment Systems
10. Water Processing and Perform
A. Mixing and flocculation
B. Sedimentation
C. Flocculator-clarifiers
D. Filtration
E. Chlorination
F. Fluoridation
G. Softening
H. Turbidity removal
I. Sources of wastes in water treatment
11. Wastewater Processing
A. Treatment plant design criteria
B. Preliminary treatment
C. Sedimentation
D. Biological filtration
E. Biological aeration
F. Stabilization ponds
G. Disinfection
H. Sludge handling
Themes, Concepts and Issues
1. Aquatic Ecosystems are complex, fragile, and interrelated.
2. There is methodology available to assess, analyze, and understand ecological interrelationships.
3. There are technological methods to mitigate and reduce negative impacts of water pollutants.
4. Humans exist a part of the local, regional, and global ecosystem.
Competency and Skills:
The student will be able to:
1. Define, analyze, and describe basic water quality principles, components and practices.
2. Perform laboratory experiments in:
     A. Dissolved oxygen
     B. Biochemical oxygen demand
     C. Chemical oxygen demand
     D. Turbidity
     E. pH, acidity
     F. Hardness
     G. Nitrogen
     H. Phosphorus
     I. Lead
3. Perform basic water quality calculations
4. Use the graphical analysis software to curve fit reverse exponentials.