Module Description

Module: Sustainable Water Management and Microbiology of Water Systems


Microbiology of water systemsLecture2Winter Semester
Sustainable Water ManagementProject-/problem-based Learning2Winter Semester

Module Responsibility:

Prof. Mathias Ernst

Admission Requirements:


Recommended Previous Knowledge:

Basic knowledge in water chemistry, Knowledge of main water treatment processes

Educational Objectives:

Professional Competence

Theoretical Knowledge

Students will be able to explain the relevance of local and national water cycles on basis of water recycling targets. They will be able to separate into conventional and advanced treatment processes for both, drinking and wastewater treatment. Students are capable to name basic differences between water chemical parameters in drinking and wastewater analysis and define their significance for a sustainable water management.

Students will be able to differentiate between natural and hygienically relevant bacteria in drinking water and will know modern microbiological methods for routine and scientific analyses of drinking water. They are familiar with the diverse microbiological processes in drinking water treatment and supply. The students know the legal regulations of the microbiological drinking water quality.


On basis of water use targets students will be able to prepare combinations of naturally based as well as technical water treatment processes. They will be able to calculate key parameters of treatment pathways for a water recycling study. Students will be able to deputise their conceptual design study by argumentation.

Students will be capable to assess risks for the hygienic state of drinking water. Based on knowledge of methods they are able to evaluate results of routine analyses and research. Based on knowledge of processes, students will be able to suggest solutions to problems in drinking water supply.

Personal Competence

Social Competence

Students will be able to work in diverse teams on problems in the field of sustainable water management. They will be able to coordinate complex tasks within their group and hand out duties accordingly. 


Students will be in a position to work out presentations in the field of sustainable water management. They will be capable of finding creative solutions for water recycling concepts.

Students will know how to use their technical knowledge for solving problems.

ECTS-Credit Points Module:



Written exam

Workload in Hours:

Independent Study Time: 124, Study Time in Lecture: 56

Course: Microbiology of water systems (Lecture)


Anna Krüger




Winter Semester


  • Natural and hygienically relevant microorganisms in drinking water
  • Quantification of bacteria in drinking water
  • Identification of bacteria
  • Bacterial population analyses
  • Growth of bacteria and VBNC-state
  • Activity of bacteria in the environment
  • Biofilms in drinking water systems
  • Disinfection of drinking water and drinking water systems
  • Microbiological processes in drinking water treatment
  • Technical realization for optimized use of microbiological processes for drinking water production
  • Impact factors on microbiological drinking water quality during distribution and compliance with legal requirements on hygiene at the consumer’s tap


  • Allgemeine Mikrobiologie. 2007. Fuchs, G. (Hrsg.), 8. Aufl., Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart.
  • Brock Biology of Microorganisms. 2015. Madigan, M. T., Martinko, J. M., Bender, K. S., Buckley, D. H., and Stahl, D. A. (eds.), 14. edition, Pearson Education Ltd, Harlow, UK.
  • Microbial growth in drinking- water supplies: Problems, causes control and research needs. 2014. Van der Kooij, D. and Van der Wielen, P. W. J. J. (eds.) IWA Publishing, London.

Course: Sustainable Water Management (Project-/problem-based Learning)


Mathias Ernst




Winter Semester


The course provides knowledge on the sustainable treatment and management of the resource water. Used water is an alternative resource and can be recycled in any field of the urban water cycle after adequate treatment. The resulting water quality is the decisive issue. In the course the central quality parameters of drinking- as well as wastewater assessment will be presented and discussed. Moreover the legal frame for water reuse in the EU and examples from all over the world will be communicated. The students receive the task to develop a conceptual design study of an indirect potable reuse facility in given boundary conditions. To fulfill this task, the students will work in small groups representing a consulting firm. Later in the course the firms will present their concepts. In preparation to the team presentation further knowledge on alternative water resources and sustainable management will be provided. International case studies will be presented and discussed. Next to the communication of technical details, planning tools for the implementation of alternative water management will be given also Option for an effective public perception program of later water users. 


  • Milestones in Water Reuse, V. Lazarova, T. Asano, A. Bahri, J. Anderson, IWA Publishing 2013
  • Current UN World Water Development Reports
  • Water Security for Better Lives, OECD Studie 2013
  • PPT’s provided during the course