Fantastic overview of so many different areas of wastewater treatment. The course linked both real life problems with theoretical concepts. - Gold Coast 2015 View all testimonials

Membrane Plant Design and Operation

This course is not currently scheduled for a future event

A comprehensive 5 day course on membrane plant design and operation, taught by two leading Australian membrane practitioners.   

This is a practical, problem based course, developed from a series of design and operating problems taken from membrane plants constructed recently in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.  Participants will work through design problems for water treatment, water recycling and membrane bioreactor applications, review operational data from membrane plants, learn how to identify membrane fouling and integrity problems, and participate in hands-on autopsies of failed membrane modules.

Participants will receive copies of design software for reverse osmosis and antiscalant chemicals, and will be instructed in techniques to generate information used to specify the size and cost to build and operate membrane systems.


Day 1: Membrane hardware and drinking water applicationsMBR

  • Detailed description of membrane equipment and systems
  • Hands-on dissection of membrane elements to understand relationship between membrane structure and system performance
  • Overview of key water quality parameters and water chemistry issues for membrane plant design and operation
  • How do suspended solids and natural organic matter affect the design and performance of microfiltration and ultrafiltration plants ?
  • Design problem 1: Drinking water applications  

Day 2: Detailed water quality analysis and principles of RO system design

  • Interpreting water quality data - achieving product water quality targets and identifying design limitations
  • Assessments of the influence of sparingly soluble salts on the configuration and recovery of RO systems
  • Using and understanding the limitations of membrane design software for desalination and water recycling applications
  • Product water and post-treatment conditioning
  • Design problem 2: Water recycling application

Day 3: Operational issues:  Managing performance data and membrane integrity

  • Developing monitoring and control systems for membrane plants
  • Membrane integrity monitoring and product water quality issues for membrane plants
  • Site visit to an industrial water recycling plant

Day 4: Operational Issues: Fouling, cleaning and cost estimating

  • Fouling and membrane autopsy workshop
  • Techniques for identifying membrane fouling
  • Optimising cleaning and fouling control strategies
  • Hands-on membrane autopsy exercise
  • Workshop: Trouble-shooting membrane operating problems

Day 5: Special applications: Membrane Bioreactors and decentralised systems

  • How do Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) compare with conventional wastewater treatment plants ?
  • Terms and definitions used in the design of MBRs
  • Key design variables for MBRs
  • Design of ancillary facilities for MBRs, such as head-works, aeration systems, solids handling and chemical storage facilities
  • Design problem 3: Membrane bioreactor


  • An excellent, and comprehensive, overview of the methods and tools used in the design of contemporary membrane systems for water, wastewater and reuse applications
  • Access to two leading membrane practitioners
  • Design workshops based on real life examples and data
  • Participation in a hands-on membrane autopsy workshop to diagnose membrane failure and fouling
  • Skills to take back to your workplace to help you to design, operate and trouble-shoot membrane systems
  • Course notes and resource materials, including commercial software and spreadsheet calculations
  • A site visit to an industrial water recycling facility


Anyone who wants to know how to design and operate membrane plants for water and wastewater treatment, water recycling and desalination. The course assumes basic knowledge of water quality and engineering concepts. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop computer. Numbers will be limited.

Greg Leslie