Instructor Information

Christian Davies-Venn

Dr. Davies-Venn obtained his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Sierra Leone, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio and the University of Arkansas, respectively. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in five states and the District of Columbia and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.

He started his professional career as a project manager and subsequently a technical manager and partner of an engineering consulting firm. His international experience has included design of several development projects in Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, and Nigeria sponsored by the World Bank, the European Economic Community, the African Development Bank, and other international agencies.

In 1990, Dr. Davies-Venn joined a global consulting engineering firm in Fairfax, Virginia as a senior project manager and process development group leader. He later joined PEER Consultants, an international environmental engineering consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC as a senior program manager and subsequently Director of Water and Wastewater Engineering. He served as Vice President and Chief Engineer of the company.

For the past 42 years Dr. Davies-Venn has been involved in the planning, design, and construction management of a wide range of environmental projects including water treatment, supply and distribution systems; stormwater; wastewater treatment and collection systems for several federal, state, local, and industrial clients throughout the U.S. For these projects, he served in various capacities ranging from project manager to principal-in-charge.

He is actively involved in numerous professional organizations including the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists; the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards; the Water Environment Federation; the National Society of Professional Engineers; the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Water Works Association; the Chesapeake Water Environment Association; and the Federal Water Quality Association, where he has had the privilege of serving in several leadership positions.

Dr. Davies-Venn currently teaches “Principles of Water and Wastewater Treatment”, "Water Supply and Wastewater Collection" and "Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Design" in the Engineering for Professionals Program at JHU.

He and his wife live in Montgomery County, Maryland and they have two grown daughters. He enjoys traveling, gardening, and classical music.

Zohreh Movahed

Work Phone: 240-780-7676

Dr. Movahed has over 31 years of Water Management experience in Integrated Water Resources Management, Water Reuse, Water Contamination, Source Water Protection, Safety Management, Water and Sewer Infrastructure Development and Regulatory Compliance. Dr. Movahed also has 19 years of teaching experience at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Prior to WATEK, as the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s (WSSC) Regulatory Group Leader, she developed the Water Reuse Regulations and was responsible for approval of Centralized and Decentralized Water Reuse projects. At WATEK, she provides engineering support for membrane project design and operations, incorporating end user perspective related to ease of operation, safety, reliability, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Course Information

Course Description

Water quality objectives and the chemical, physical, and biological processes necessary for designing and managing modern drinking water and wastewater treatment plants are described in the course. The principles of coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, biological treatment, solids handling, disinfection, and advanced treatment processes are presented. The course serves as a basis for the more advanced courses: EN.575.745 Physical and Chemical Processes for Water and Wastewater Treatment, EN.575.706 Biological Processes for Water and Wastewater Treatment, and EN.575.746 Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Design.


EN.575.601 Fluid Mechanics or an equivalent course in fluid flow or hydraulics; two semesters of undergraduate chemistry.

Course Goal

To understand and apply the fundamental principles of water supply and wastewater treatment and management.

Course Objectives

  • Explore the relationship between the natural water cycle and human water use, and understand the principles of water resources planning and total water management;

  • Describe the physical, chemical, and biological processes necessary for designing and managing drinking water treatment processes and water conveyance and distribution systems;
  • Describe the physical, chemical, and biological processes necessary for designing and managing primary, secondary, tertiary and advanced wastewater treatment processes and solids handling systems.

When This Course is Typically Offered

Spring or Fall


  • Total Water Management - Hydrologic Cycle, Supply and Demand, Regulations, Watershed Management, Ground and Surface Water, Hydrology
  • Overview of Water Treatment - Supply Water Characteristics, Water Quality, Drinking Water Standards, Water Chemistry, Chemical Reaction and Kinetics, Water Conveyance and Distribution, Hydraulics
  • Conventional Water Treatment Processes - Aeration, Sedimentation, Rapid Mixing, Flocculation, Coagulation, Filtration, Disinfection, Flouridation, Water Softening, Turbidity Removal, Taste and Odor Control
  • Advanced Water Treatment Processes - Ion Exchange, Ozonation, Adsorption, Ultra Filtration, Membrane Processes, UV Disinfection
  • Overview of Wastewater Management - Wastewater Characteristics, Flows and Pollutant Loads, Biochemistry and Microbiology, Sanitary and Stormwater Collection Systems, Effluent Quality Standards, Receiving Stream Quality, Design Standards, Economic Analysis
  • Wastewater Preliminary and Primary Treatment Processes - Screening, Grit Removal, Sedimentation
  • Secondary Wastewater Treatment Processes - Activated Sludge, Trickling Filters, Rotating Biological Contactors, Stabilization Ponds, Lagoons, Aeration, Clarification, Filtration, Chlorination-Dechlorination
  • Advanced Wastewater Treatment Processes - Chemical Coagulation, Carbon Adsorption, Phosphorus Removal, Nitrogen Removal (Nitrification/Denitrification), Media Filtration, UV Disinfection
  • Solids Handling Processes - Gravity Thickening, Flotation Thickening, Dewatering, Pressure Filtration, Stabilization, Aerobic and Anaerobic Digestion, Composting, Drying, Incineration, Landfilling, Land Application

Student Assessment Criteria

Homework Assignments 20%
Mid-term Exam 20%
Final Exam 30%
Project 20%
Class Participation 10%

Computer and Technical Requirements

PDF Viewer:

You will need the free Adobe PDF viewer software to view PDF files in this course. Go to

Zip Software:

You will also need software for "zipping" and "unzipping" (compressing and uncompressing) files. Two popular shareware "zip" programs can be downloaded from the sites linked below:

For Windows - WinZip at
For Macintosh - ZipIt at

Adobe Connect:

You will be using Adobe Connect, a web-based conferencing system, to participate in real time office hours. To use Adobe Connect, please perform a connection test on your computer to make sure your software is current by going to and selecting Connection Test. If you have any trouble connecting to an Adobe Connect meeting, please visit the Technical Support website at After reviewing the contents of this site, if you still need assistance please e-mail or complete the online support form.

If you are a first-time EPP Online student, you will have an opportunity to test the Adobe Connect software during the week long mandatory EPP Online Orientation. Others can email EPP Online at if they are interested in attending one of the 30-minute online orientations to Adobe Connect.

Participation Expectations

This course will consist of four basic student requirements:

  1. Homework - Each student is required to complete all homework assignments to earn a course grade. All homework is due within one week of its assignment. Late homework will not be accepted without the prior permission of the instructor. All external sources of supporting information must be appropriately referenced. Homework assignments will be evaluated and graded on a scale of 0 to 100.  Homework not submitted will receive a grade of 0, resulting in an incomplete for the course. Late homework assignments will be reduced by a 10 point penalty per week late. Deficient homework will be returned to students for resubmission within 1 week; the final grade for the specific homework assigned will be the average of the two grades. The intent is to ensure that you are successfully learning the concepts taught in this course. Homework assignments will generally involve answering a scenario problem based upon a specific project management skill. Homework assignments will be uploaded into the course site and will be accepted in ASCII or Microsoft Word 97(R) (or later) format. Any resubmissions should be sent to the grading instructor* via the course site mail.
    *The grading instructor is listed in the Course Outline.

  2. Discussions - Student participation in class discussions is imperative for a successful online class experience.  Lessons learned and past experiences provide the entire class with a broader perspective of the topics being discussed. All students are required to participate throughout the semester. As shown in the table above, class participation will count toward the student's final grade. Throughout the week, each student is required to submit postings to the assigned discussion thread. Each student is expected to respond to the initial discussion question and to at least two of your classmates' responses (additional postings are preferred). A student's initial response and one follow-on posting must be "significant" in nature (see definition below). The goals of these discussions are to (a) thoroughly examine the topic area, (b) apply critical thinking skills, and (c) establish a repository of research material to be used throughout the semester.

    Definition of "significant" posting: (a) 300 words or greater, (b) properly referenced, and (c) demonstrating critical thinking skills (opinion should be separated from fact). These postings will count toward class participation.

    Grading policy for discussion posting: 20%-- Postings submitted on time; 40%--Original posting answered the questions asked in the assignment; 20%-- Adequate facts and references included; 20%---Subsequent postings contributed to the content of other student's postings.

    Day 1 (Wednesday) - discussion topic is posted
    Day 1-3 (Wednesday-Saturday) - initial student response is posted
    Day 1-6 (Wednesday-Tuesday) - follow-on student responses are posted

  3. Examinations - A mid-term and a final will be given. Each will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100. Exact dates will be announced later during the semester.

  4. Group Projects - A group project will require students to apply the skills developed in the earlier sessions of the course to the development of a proposal. Teams will be made up of 2-3 students. Each team will be required to deliver a final project report and a presentation. All team members are expected to contribute to the team project; each team member will be asked to submit teammate evaluations with their final report. A discussion forum will be established for each team on the first week of class. The final team project presentations will be performed synchronously with the course instructors via the Adobe Connect tool. Team presentation dates/times will be scheduled during the first few weeks of class.


Textbook information for this course is available online through the MBS Direct Virtual Bookstore.

Course Notes

There are no notes for this course.

Final Words from the Instructor

Information about the instructor:  Dr. Davies-Venn has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Univeristy of Sierra Leone, an M.S in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer with 32 years experience in the planning, design, and construction of water and wastewater treatment facilities.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Florida.  He is very active in the professional engineering community. His professional affiliations include: American Academy of Environmental Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, Federal Water Quality Association, the Chesapeake Water Environment Association, and the International Association on Water Quality.  Dr. Davies-Venn is Vice President and Chief Engineer of PEER Consultants, a full-serice environmental engineering consulting firm headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.

(Last Modified: 05/16/2014 07:39:08 AM)