Rosa-lee Cooke

Office: Dalton-Cantrell, Rm 215
Voice Mail: (276) 523-2400 ext. 364
Fax: (276) 523-5459

*Enrollment available anytime for this course.



Course Description

Teaches principles, practices and desired function and operation of a variety of wastewater treatment unity processes.  Evaluates the operation of processes by determination of the information and testing required for evaluation and performing the subsequent necessary calculations.



Statement of Broad Goals/Units and Specific Objectives

This course will analyze the different processes used in the treatment of wastewaters.  Emphasis will be put on biological treatment devices and mechanisms.  An important secondary objective in this course is to help prepare students for the state certification exam for wastewater plant operations.



  • Students are required to have certain math skills, such as calculate chemical dosages, manipulate formulas and equations, calculate areas and volumes, convert between measuring systems, apply basic math concepts to the profession, calculate volumes from pump running times, calculate averages and geometric means, plot and interpret graphs, and calculate chemical quantities for budget purposes.
  • Certain computer skills are also required, such as using an operating system, spreadsheet software, word processing packages, possess a knowledge of PLC at an introductory level, demonstrate keyboarding skills, access data from CD ROM, and use the Internet at a basic level
  • Students must also have certain communication skills, such as speak and understand English fluently, deal with the public in a polite manner, deal with emergency situations, communicate effectively, participate as a team player, demonstrate an awareness of regulator agencies, investigate problems, communicate instructions, demonstrate phone etiquette, resolve conflicts, demonstrate writing skills, fit into the management philosophy of the organization, participate effectively in meetings, demonstrate interview skills, educate public and other stake holders, prepare a resume, deliver a presentation, and deal with the media.
  • Certain safety skills are also required, such as demonstrate an awareness of personal responsibilities, use and maintain personal protection equipment, identify safety hazards, demonstrate an awareness of information sources, demonstrate an awareness of confined space entry procedures, use and maintain safety monitoring equipment, demonstrate an awareness of Occupation Health and Safety regulations, describe proper shoring and trenching operations, use and maintain SCBA’s  demonstrate an awareness of Alberta First Call procedures, demonstrate an awareness of immunization and personal hygiene, perform first aid and CPR, assist in an accident investigation, participate on safety committees, demonstrate an awareness of substance abuse, develop a safety strategy, describe spill response procedures, perform a safety inspection, repair chlorine cylinder with Kits A and B, and identify piping color codes.
  • Students are also required to have certain wastewater treatment skills, such as demonstrate proper sampling techniques, describe lagoon inspection and maintenance procedures, perform lab test procedures, interpret lab test results, describe clarification processes, demonstrate an awareness of federal and provincial regulations and license requirements, describe different types of biological treatment systems, describe effects of waste discharge on receiving environment, describe wastewater sources and characteristics, describe methods of odor control, describe solids treatment, handling and disposal, describe a preliminary treatment process, describe methods of wastewater disinfection, demonstrate an awareness of new and innovative technology, explain reclamation of final effluent, describe nutrient removal processes, describe industrial treatment processes, and describe control strategies of filamentous micro-organisms.
  • Certain wastewater collection skills are also required, such as identify safety hazards with waste water collection, describe safety procedures specific to wastewater collection, describe proper sampling techniques, describe methods used to control traffic flow, describe sewer cleaning methods, describe sewer inspection procedures, demonstrate an awareness of hazardous waste regulations, describe the use of sampling equipment, describe basic repair of sewer lines, explain lift station operation and maintenance, calibrate pumping equipment, identify system deficiencies, describe installation of service connections, identify and describe different sewer systems, describe low measuring devices, explain manhole rehabilitation, identify inflow and infiltration, identify causes of odors, explain interaction with other facilities, describe tracer study procedures, dye and smoke, describe an inverted siphon,  describe storm water management methods, and demonstrate an awareness of trench-less repair procedures.
  • Students should also have certain computer literacy skills, such as using programs, spreadsheets, search for folders, and use the mouse drag and drop techniques.  




Core Competencies

This course satisfies the following core competencies:

·       Understand and interpret complex materials.

·       Use standard English.

·       Interpret and use mathematical formulas.

·       Interpret mathematical models such as graphs, tables and schematics and draw inferences from them.

·       Use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data.



Instructional Methods

  • Online lessons
  • Textbook readings
  • Quizzes
  • Wastewater Plant Visit



Since ENV 149 is an online course, each student is expected to have a valid email address which he or she will check at least twice weekly.   If you are having problems using your Mountain Empire email address, please contact the instructor as soon as possible. 

The instructor will use email to keep you updated on your progress throughout the course. If you have completed and turned in any kind of assignment and have not heard from the instructor within a reasonable length of time (2 days if sent by email and 1 week through postal service), then you should contact the instructor to make sure the assignment was received.

When you send an email to your instructor for help or sending in an assignment, make sure to have the Course Number and Assignment Number in the subject of the email. Example: ENV149 Assignment 1.




Quizzes are online and are connected to a database. Once you click the submit button your grade will be stored in my gradebook. You are allowed to take the quiz as many times as desired, your highest grade submitted will be the one counted. If you would print the quiz and fax or mail it to me, contact information is given in this syllabus. Quizzes are worth 20% of your grade.



The midterm and final exams are proctored exams to be taken in the designated week of class. You will have one week to complete the exam from the time it is offered. When you are ready to take the exam, contact me and I will mail the exam to the person approved to be your proctor. Please review the exam policy and have the approved proctor sign the paper attached to the exam. The proctor must mail the exam back to me. If you plan on taking the exams in the College Testing Center , you must contact me so that I can leave the exam with Peggy Gibson. The exams are NOT OPEN BOOK.


View Your Grades

The student will be able to go online and view their grades throughout the course to see that your grades are being posted correctly. On the main page of this course you will see a tab called View Grades on the navigation bar. Once you click on this tab you will be prompted to enter your username and EmplID . Your username is first initial and last name all together and your EmplID is the student ID issued by MECC. For example, my username and password might be rcooke , ID 1234567. The first time logging in you will be required to create a password. Once the password is created you will be redirected to the beginning and enter your username, ID and created password. If you have any problems viewing your grades, contact your instructor.



Instructions for Individuals with Disabilities

Students may request academic accommodation for disabilities through the Office of Student Services. That office will evaluate the request and make recommendations for appropriate and reasonable accommodations, which the student will provide to the instructor. Individuals requiring temporary handicapped parking accommodations due to short-term illness should also contact Student Services.

All correspondence will be kept confidential.



Emergency Statement

In the event of a College-wide emergency, course requirements, classes, deadlines, and grading schemes are subject to changes that may include alternative delivery methods; alternative methods of interaction with the instructor, class materials, and/or classmates; a revised attendance policy; and a revised semester calendar and/or grading scheme.
In the case of a College emergency, please refer to the following about changes in this course:

  • If you are unable to access the water/wastewater distance learning website, please contact IT services at 276-523-2400 or contact your instructor.  If power or servers are down across campus it may take a couple of hours for service to be reinstated.  Please be patient and your course material will be back up and running shortly.  If this does occur penalties will not be given for late assignments.
  • If the MECC mail server is down your instructor will use the following email address :
    *****Please note that this email address will ONLY be used in case of an emergency when the MECC mail server is down!******
  • The telephone number for your instructor is as follows:
    276-523-2400, ext 364

For more general information about the emergency situation, please refer to:

  • The Mountain Empire Community College web site at or the Virginia Community College System web page at
  • The college phone number is 276-523-2400
  • The college phone number to call in case of snow or inclement weather is 276-523-7495. You may also receive information about snow or inclement weather at the following TV and Radio Stations:

WCYB-TV— Bristol
WJHL-TV — Johnson City
WQUT-FM — Johnson City
WAXM-FM — Norton
WDIC-FM — Clintwood
WJNV-FM — Jonesville
WXBQ-FM — Bristol

  • You may contact security at MECC from off campus by calling 276-523-7473 and from on campus by dialing 473 from any campus phone. There are also several emergency security phones located on MECC’s campus.

Emergency Notifications: When MECC considers an emergency to pose an ongoing threat to students and employees, the college community will be notified in several ways:



Weekly Assignments

Students are required to read the lessons from the book, along with any lessons that are on the Internet.  Any questions that are on the website must be answered and turned in to Harriett Long at Mountain Empire Community College . Water/Wastewater plant visits are also a part of the teaching methods used in this course.

Online Lesson Quiz Assignment
Lesson 1: Interceptors and Wet Well Pumping 1 1
Lesson 2: Preliminary Treatment 2 2
Lesson 3: Plant Loadings 3 3
Lesson 4: Primary Treatment 4 4
Lesson 5: Trickling Filters 5 5
Lesson 6: Rotating Biological Contactors 6 6
Lesson 7: Activated Sludge 7 7
Lesson 8: Nitrification and Denitrification 8 8
Midterm Exam (Lessons 1-8) None None
Lesson 9: Biological Nutrient Removal 9 9
Lesson 10: Waste Treatment Ponds 10 10
Lesson 11: Physical and Chemical Treatment 11 11
Lesson 12: Chlorination and Dechlorination 12 12
Lesson 13: Sludge Thickening 13 13
Lesson 14: Anaerobid Sludge Digestion 14 14
Lesson 15: Sludge Dewatering 15 15
Lesson 16: Odor Control 16 16
Final Exam (Lessons 9-16) None None





Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants, Volume I - ISBN 1-59371-005-4, and Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants, Volume II - ISBN 1-884701-46-9

These textbooks can be purchased from the MECC College Bookstore or form  the  following address:

Office of Water Programs
6000 J Street
Sacramento , CA

Phone:  916-278-6142


 Grading Policy

Midterm exam 


Final exam (comprehensive)


Assignments, labs, Plant Visits






 Grading Scale

A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = Below 60%




All students at MECC should abide by the standards of conduct outlined in the MECC Student Handbook. Cheating WILL NOT be tolerated. Anyone caught cheating on an assignment or test will receive a zero for that assignment.



Attendance Policy

Regular class attendance is required. When absence from a class is necessary, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor prior to the absence. The student is responsible for the subsequent completion of all work missed during an absence. (MECC Student Handbook)

Mountain Empire Community College is committed to academic quality and student success. Elements that support both of these values are regular attendance and participation in class. The college policy states that regular class attendance is required. The attendance policy in this class is that you spend at least 5 hours per week working on assignments, which will help ensure you stay on track. As listed above in the Weekly Schedule, the scheduled quiz and assignment should be completed each week.