Nutrient Removal in Wastewater Treatment

Online /
Jan 24 - 26, 2024 /
Course Code: 14-1218-ONL23

The confirmation of this course depends on early registration; Register early to avoid the postponement or cancellation of a course.
  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Instructor


Please note, This instructor-led course has specific dates and times:
This course is held online over 3 days on the following schedule (All times in Eastern Time Zone):

10:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern (Will include the usual breaks)

After participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the impact of untreated nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus on the environment
  • Learn nutrient removal fundamentals, concepts and proven technologies
  • Become familiar with nutrient removal process optimization and best practices


It is well known that the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus present at elevated concentrations in municipal wastewater can contribute to the eutrophication of receiving water bodies. Eutrophication, or “nutrient enrichment,” is a phenomenon that occurs when a water body contains an elevated concentration of one or more nutrients. Elevated concentrations of nutrients can be deleterious to receiving water bodies by driving the severity and frequency of algal blooms up and, at times, directly or indirectly inducing conditions that are toxic to wildlife. Therefore, nutrient removal, which includes nutrient recovery where applicable, from municipal wastewater is a critical process consideration.

This course will review nutrient removal technologies for municipal wastewater treatment systems. Attendees will learn about wastewater characteristics and the different fractions of nitrogen and phosphorus that impact design and regulations. Fundamentals of wastewater treatment processes will be reviewed as required to set up a baseline to discuss options for implementing nitrogen and phosphorus removal in existing facilities. A full day will be dedicated to phosphorus removal and another day to nitrogen removal. The basic principles of phosphorus and nitrogen removal processes will be reviewed before moving to an overview of proven and up-and-coming treatment technologies. Benefits and key considerations will be highlighted for each technology, and commentary on how each technology can be retrofitted into municipal wastewater treatment systems. Process optimization will also be covered, focusing on “best practices” for implementing each technology.

Attendees will end the course with a better appreciation for the need to remove nutrients, the opportunities and challenges associated with implementing nutrient removal into existing wastewater treatment systems, and a deeper understanding of process operation and optimization.

Course Outline

  • Municipal Wastewater Characteristics
  • Effluent Regulations
  • Fundamentals of Wastewater Treatment
  • Introduction to Phosphorus Removal Mechanisms
  • Overview and Optimization of Phosphorus Removal Processes
  • Introduction to Nitrogen Removal Mechanisms
  • Overview and Optimization of Nitrogen Removal Processes

Who Should Attend
Anyone involved in the permitting, design, and operation of wastewater treatment facilities:
Municipal Engineers • Consulting Engineers • Employees of Regulatory Agencies • Operators

More Information

Time: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Eastern Time

Please note: You can check other time zones here.


Day I: Introduction

Municipal Wastewater Characteristics

  • Pollutants of Concern
  • Sources of Nutrients and Typical Nutrient Loading Rates
  • Fractionation of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Compounds

Effluent Regulations

  • Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycles in Nature
  • Impact of Excess Nitrogen on Water Quality
  • Impact of Excess Phosphorus on Water Quality
  • Sample Effluent Regulations

Fundamentals of Wastewater Treatment

  • General Classification of Treatment Processes
  • Anatomy of a Conventional Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Opportunities for Integrating Nutrient Removal
  • Theoretical Limit of Technology

Day II: Phosphorus Removal

Introduction to Phosphorus Removal Mechanisms

  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Chemical Adsorption
  • Biological Assimilation
  • Biological Accumulation
  • Chemical Recovery

Overview and Optimization of Phosphorus Removal Processes

  • Potential Locations for Chemical Dosing
  • Bench-scale Testing for Chemical Selection and Optimization
  • Additional Strategies to Minimize Chemical Requirements
  • Tertiary Filtration
  • Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Accumulation Configurations
  • Carbon Management Strategies for Biological Accumulation
  • Integrating Tertiary Solids Removal for
  • Combining Biological Accumulation with Chemical Removal/Recovery


  • Phosphorus Removal Highlights

Day III: Nitrogen Removal

Introduction to Nitrogen Removal Mechanisms

  • Assimilation
  • Nitrification
  • Denitrification
  • Deammonification

Overview and Optimization of Nitrogen Removal Processes

  • Potential Locations for Nitrogen Removal
  • MLE Process for Denitrification-Nitrification
  • SBR Process for Denitrification-Nitrification
  • Post-Denitrification Configurations
  • Simultaneous Nitrification & Denitrification
  • MBBR and IFAS Configurations
  • Aerobic Granular Sludge
  • Sidestream Deammonification


  • Nitrogen Removal Highlights
  • Integration of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal Processes
  • Example Configurations for Treatment to the Limit of Technology for Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal


Tanner Devlin, PH.D., P.ENG.

Tanner is a professional member of Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba and serves as Product Manager of MBBR/IFAS systems for Nexom, a North American-based manufacturer of water and wastewater treatment systems.

At Nexom, Tanner also provides process engineering services for unit process selection, design, and optimization. Tanner is also an Adjunct Professor in Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba, where he instructs courses on water and wastewater treatment, and co-advises graduate students. Tanner has worked in the field for over a decade, focusing on nutrient removal and recovery processes.

Matt Kowalski , Ph.D.

Matt is a water and wastewater process engineer at AECOM.

He has a PhD in environmental engineering with experience in wastewater process modelling, biological nutrient removal, data sampling and analysis, and preliminary and detailed design. He has been with AECOM for three years and has worked on projects ranging from lift station upgrades to the design of large BNR wastewater treatment plants.

The Engineering Institute of Canada

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Fee & Credits

$1995 + taxes

  • 2.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 21 Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
  • ECAA Annual Professional Development Points

Group Training
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