Environmental Engineering - Civil Engineering

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A Brief about
  Environmental engineering is the branch of engineering which focusses on improvement in techniques or by devising mechanisms to improve the environment so as to maintain hygiene, sanitation, pollution free environment around us for the well-being of the people.
  From civil engineering point of view, environmental engineering includes topics like characteristics of raw water, calculation of water demand and its forecasting, conduits for transportation of water, development of ground water, quality control of water supplies, treatment of water, design of sewer, quality and characteristics of sewage, treatment of sewage and the processes involved, disposal of the sewage effluents, solid waste disposal, air pollution, noise pollution etc.
  Environmental engineering finds its application in designing  of water supply network project, sewerage network project, design of stack height of chimneys, making environment management plan by locating the sources and sinks of the waste material and finding better alternatives and technologies to dispose the waste or reuse it so as to ensure environment doesn’t get polluted.
  Available water from nature is not suitable for direct consumption and everyone can’t utilize the water from rivers, ponds etc. This water has to be transported over long distances and has to undergo different processes of treatment depending on the nature of the raw water before it reaches to the final users. Water which doesn’t undergo any treatment is called as raw water. The water can be transported through gravity pipes or pressure pipes depending on the geographical conditions of the region and the constraints. The water demand needs to be estimated to design the water supply network adjusted for the future growth of population for a certain life. Different types of conduits are used as per the requirement and the raw water undergoes treatment depending on its characteristics. Physical characteristics like odor, taste, turbidity, total solids, suspended solids, dissolved solids, presence of copper, lead etc. should be in safe proportion. To remove impurities, treatment is given to the water to improve the quality of water. After treatment, water is transported through the distribution network but it should be ensured that water should not contaminate during this stage at any point of time in the distribution network. For this, chlorination is done. Choice of type of distribution network depends on how the city has developed but the environment engineer should ensure that in the network water shouldn’t stagnate at any point and is available to all the people at all the times of a day in case of non-functioning of any pipeline.
  Sewers are designed to carry the wastewater from homes, institutions etc. and storm water so that this wastewater can undergo treatment in sewage treatment plants and water with safe biological oxygen demand (BOD) levels can be discharged to the water resources so as not to affect the marine life and environment in general. For industries, separate industrial waste water plants are developed and the effluent should be treated before disposing it in the river.
  For solid waste disposal, the nature of waste is identified first and then suitable method of disposal is chosen accordingly without causing any damage to the environment. One should not dispose solid waste in such a way that leachates are formed and the groundwater gets polluted.
  As an environmental engineer, one must devise ways so as not to disturb the groundwater levels. Groundwater resources are under enormous pressure since these resources are not getting recharged due to overuse and changing rainfall patterns.
  To control air and noise pollution, proper stacking height of air pollution sources should be ensured so that the troposphere doesn’t get affected. To check noise pollution, any area should not operate in unsafe decibel levels. Devices like electrostatic precipitator in chimneys etc. can be used so as to check air pollution.
  Environmental engineering offers technical solutions to the environment problems which are cause due to our non-judicious of resources and environment in general. Our approach should be sustainable so that everyone can experience our beautiful environment for the years to come.
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