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Syllabus for

Academic year
ACE090 - Sustainable urban water engineering
Hållbar behandling av urbana vatten
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-14 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPIEE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Civil and Environmental Engineering

The course is only available for students having the course in their program plan
Teaching language: English
Application code: 27121
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D+
Maximum participants: 70

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0118 Examination 3,0c Grading: TH   3,0c   14 Jan 2020 pm L,  07 Apr 2020 pm DIST   19 Aug 2020 am J
0218 Project 4,5c Grading: TH   4,5c    

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Ann-Margret Hvitt Strömvall

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In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Recommended courses are BOM221 Physics and chemistry for civil engineers, BOM270 Water resources and hydraulics, BOM345 Water engineering and the environment and BOM350 Hydrology and stormwater, or eqvivalent.


The course Sustainable Urban Water Engineering is compulsory for students from the master’s program Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, and elective for students in other master programs with an environmental profile at Chalmers. The course aims at providing students with an advanced understanding of urban water and the importance of considering contamination for planning, development and operation of infrastructure. After completion of this course, you should be able to understand how you can prevent pollution and manage polluted water and sediments in urban environments. The course focuses on engineering methods to monitor and treat polluted landfill leachate, urban stormwater and urban sediments. This course is valuable for students who want to specialize in environmental, water, traffic and geological sciences and engineering. The gained knowledge will be useful to you, as a professional engineer, to contribute to sustainable development of the society.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Understand the importance of water issues and environmental legislation to achieve sustainable development of urban infrastructure and construction.
  • Design sampling and monitoring strategies, and select relevant measurement techniques, to determine and assess water and sediment quality affected by urban pollution.
  • Propose and design appropriate innovative and sustainable preventive measures and engineered treatment methods for polluted landfill leachate, road runoff, urban stormwater and urban sediment.
  • Present results and knowledge, obtained from case-study investigations and the scientific literature, through oral and written presentations, and critically review the work in a professional and qualified manner.


Water issues and urban development. Introduction to the urban water cycle and descriptions of how the development of infrastructure and construction works affects the flows and water quality in urban areas. This part covers legislation and regulations as the Water Framework Directive, water quality standards and guidelines.

Impact of pollutants on urban water and sediment. Advanced knowledge of organic matter, micro/nanoparticles, colloids, metals and organic pollutants and their effects on human health and the environment. The training covers collection of solid and water samples, chemical analysis as well as evaluation of measurement data. The key concepts to be covered are: road dust, road runoff, landfill leachate, stormwater, urban sediments, micro/nanoparticles, particle size distribution, persistent organic pollutants, partition, metals, speciation, pollutant transport and fate, biomagnification, analytical chemistry.

Preventive measures, treatment methods and design of management techniques. We study how to prevent emissions of pollutants to water and sediment using both preventive measures and engineered treatment methods. Planning and decision-making tools for sustainable water management are also covered. Important key concepts: remedial and preventive actions, sustainable development, sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), removal processes, design criteria, landfill leachate treatment methods, and sediment remediation.


To reach the aims and objectives, this course uses a learning approach called Problem-Based Learning (PBL). PBL differs from traditional learning because of the focus on themes, with many traditional disciplines represented. In PBL, the starting point is real-life examples, but the same content is covered as in traditional learning. The gained knowledge should be meaningful, useful and relevant. In PBL, interaction is important; the students acquire knowledge in interaction with teachers and other students. The search for knowledge is preferred over lecturing in large classrooms.


Recommended books will be presented on the course website before the course starts and will be available for purchase at Cremona. In the course, we also use a reference library containing the most important books, reports, and analytical methods on the subjects studied. To find more relevant literature, we recommend the resources and databases available at Chalmers Library.

Examination including compulsory elements

The final grade is based on a case study in the form of group work (total 4.5 hp), and a written individual exam (total 3.0 hp). The compulsory attendance during the group work is high (see separate schedule); the grading of this part is based on a written report, oral presentation, and written opposition.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.