Matt Martz
| NASF Education Director
(202) 527-0252

Wastewater Treatment

Course Options

The course consists of 10 lessons. Students successfully completing the exam will be given credit towards the Master Surface Finishers (MSF) certification. While it is not necessary to take any course to be eligible to sit for the respective exam that could lead you to becoming a Master Surface Finisher (MSF), this course covers one of the optional subject areas for qualifying to obtain MSF certification.

Intended Audience

This training program is designed to be beneficial for operators and supervisors of wastewater pretreatments systems at job shop and captive shops performing metal finishing operations such as electroplating and or anodizing. The course can also benefit sales personnel at wastewater treatment equipment suppliers.


The goal of this course is to provide the student with a broad range of information related to methods or removing, neutralizing and/or destroying a broad range of pollutants found in metal finishing wastewater.


At the conclusion of this course, attendees should:

1. Chemistry of Water, Part 1
This is a two-part lesson detailing the relationship between chemical principles and water quality. The first part of this lesson will provide a basic background in inorganic chemistry for wastewater treatment operators, including basic chemical reactions of waste treatment. Concepts such as specific gravity, the definition of pH, acids, bases, inorganics and organics are discussed.
2. Chemistry of Water, Part 2
The second part of this lesson focuses on the water molecule. Covers are the concepts of solubility, conductivity, pH buffers, water hardness, acid base reactions and stoichiometry.
3. Water Quality
This lesson details water quality issues, focusing on the conditions that affect water quality such as TOC, COD, particulates, heavy metals and non-metallic contaminants. Disinfection using UV is covered in detail along with use of rinsing technologies that reduce water usage, making wastewater treatment systems more effective. Mass and flow balances are also briefly described.
4. Introduction into Wastewater Treatment
This lesson provides information on operations and devices that are crucial to successful wastewater treatment, including pH control, ORP control, mixing, retention times and chemical feed rates. A discussion of regulations and upset response is also provided. Calculation of retention times, use of coagulants/flocculants, and flow equalization are also covered.
5. Process Instrumentation
This lesson covers the various instrumentation methods of measurement and control employed in wastewater treatment. pH, ORP, flow rate, and conductivity measurement/control are covered in detail. Also discussed are chemical metering pumps and methods of reagent addition.
6. REDOX Treatments
This lesson provides a detailed guidance for the most common methods of chemically treating wastes that contain cyanide or chromium (+6). Batch and flow through treatments are discussed. Cyanide treatment via alkaline chlorination is a major focus of this lesson, but Ozonation is also covered. Chromium reduction via reaction with a broad range of reagents is another main focus of this lesson.
7. Alternate Treatments
This lesson will provide information of treatment of difficult-to-treat wastewater, such as chelated wastes. Treatments using ferrous sulfide, DTC, starch xanthate, bisulfites and other strong reducers such as borohydride are covered. A special focus is given to treatment schemes for electroless nickel and electroless copper rinses and spent solutions.
8. Suspended Solids Separation
This lesson discusses flocculation, clarification, sludge thickening, and filtration of chemically treated wastewater. Gravity and parallel plate/tube type clarifier design and operational parameters are discussed along with newer technologies such as microfiltration and ion exchange systems. Sludge drying and polishing system employed after clarification are also covered.
9. Carbon Treatment of Wastewater
This lesson will detail the use of carbon to remove organics from wastewater that is destined to be recycled back to the plating process. Guidance as to source of carbon, powdered vs. granular, and equipment for flowthrough carbon treatment of wastewater is provided.
10. Treatments for Oily Wastewater
This lesson provides the generally available options for removing oily waste from wastewater. The lesson focuses on coalescing filters, dissolved air flotation, membrane based systems, lipophilic filtration and chemical treatment followed by gravity separation.