environmental engineering

Topics: Water pollution, Pollution, Sewage treatment Pages: 5 (2104 words) Published: April 1, 2014
CHAPTER 1
Introduction

Environmental engineering is the development of processes and infrastructure for the supply of water, the disposal of waste, and the control of pollution of all kinds. These endeavours protect public health by preventing disease transmission, and they preserve the quality of the environment by averting the contamination and degradation of air, water, and land resources. Environmental engineering is a field of broad scope that draws on such disciplinesas chemistry,ecology, geology, hydraulics, hydrology, microbiology, economics, and mathematics. It was traditionally a specialized field within civil engineering and was called sanitary engineering until the mid-1960s, when the more accurate name environmental engineering was adopted. Projects in environmental engineering involve the treatment and distribution of drinking water; the collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater; the control of air pollution and noise pollution; municipal solid-waste management and hazardous-waste management; the cleanup of hazardous-waste sites; and the preparation of environmental assessments, audits, and impact studies. Mathematical modeling and computer analysis are widely used to evaluate and design the systems required for such tasks. Chemical and mechanical engineers may also be involved in the process. Environmental engineering functions include applied research and teaching; project planning and management; the design, construction, and operation of facilities; the sale and marketing of environmental-control equipment; and the enforcement of environmental standards and regulations. The education of environmental engineers usually involves graduate-level course work, though some colleges and universities allow undergraduates to specialize or take elective courses in the environmental field. Programs offering associate (two-year) degrees are available for training environmental technicians. In the public sector, environmental engineers are employed by national and regional environmental agencies, local health departments, and municipal engineering and public works departments. In the private sector, they are employed by consulting engineering firms, construction contractors, water and sewerage utility companies, and manufacturing industries. Ever since people first recognized that their health and well-being were related to the quality of their environment, they have applied thoughtful principles to attempt to improve the quality of their environment. The ancient Harappan civilization utilized early sewers in some cities. The Romans constructed aqueducts to prevent drought and to create a clean, healthful water supply for the metropolis of Rome. In the 15th century, Bavaria created laws restricting the development and degradation of alpine country that constituted the region's water supply. The field emerged as a separate environmental discipline during the middle third of the 20th century in response to widespread public concern about water and pollution and increasingly extensive environmental quality degradation. However, its roots extend back to early efforts in public health engineering.[7] Modern environmental engineering began in London in the mid-19th century when Joseph Bazalgette designed the first major sewerage system that reduced the incidence of waterborne diseases such as cholera. The introduction of drinking water treatment and sewage treatment in industrialized countries reduced waterborne diseases from leading causes of death to rarities. In many cases, as societies grew, actions that were intended to achieve benefits for those societies had longer-term impacts which reduced other environmental qualities. One example is the widespread application of the pesticide DDT to control agricultural pests in the years following World War II. While the agricultural benefits were outstanding and crop yields increased dramatically, thus reducing world hunger substantially, and malaria was controlled...
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