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Engineering Professional Development

Municipal Engineering Fundamentals for Non-Engineers

epd.wisc.edu/RA00356 See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Learn the fundamentals of key municipal infrastructure systems and how they interact, and the methods and standards municipal engineers use to design, operate and maintain infrastructure and facilities.

Who Should Attend?

  • Planners and economic development professionals 
  • City managers and assistant managers 
  • Municipal finance officers 
  • Engineering technicians 
  • Elected city and county officials and their staff 
  • Engineering technicians
  • Maintenance supervisors preparing for additional responsibilities
  • Individuals in the Public Works Management Institute (PWMI) certificate program

Course Outline

Online Course Modules

Pre-course Activity

  • Overview of the Course
  • Overview of the Municipal Engineering Function
  • What is unique about municipal engineering?
  • What are the challenges of designing municipal infrastructure systems?
  • What tools and standards are used by municipal engineers?

Module 1 - Street Planning and Traffic Engineering

  • Planning and functional classification systems
  • Urban vs. rural roadway geometric standards
  • Intersections and sidewalks
  • Traffic engineering and operation
  • Traffic engineering studies 
  •  Individual Activity
  • Understanding a civil engineering plan set
  • Plan Set Exercise

Module 2 -  Street Design, Maintenance and Rehabilitation

  • Soils, water, and pavement thickness design
  • Pavement management
  • Preventive maintenance and rehabilitation

Module 3 - Water Distribution Systems

  • Sizing Water Systems
  • Water Distribution System Fundamentals

Module 4 - Drinking Water Treatment and Storm Water

  • Water Supply
  • Water Treatment
  • Rainfall Runoff
  • Flood Routes & Flood

Module 5 - Storm Sewers and Drainage

  • Storm Sewer and ditches
  • Catch Basins & Inlets
  • EPA regulation
  • BMP’s & Applications
  • New Urbanism and drainage
  • Combined Sewers

Module 6 - Sanitary Sewers Systems

  • Projecting System Capacity
  • Collection System
  • Treatment Plant Design
  • Plan Review & Wrap-Up
  • In-Person Course Outline

In-person outline:

Day 1

Overview of the Municipal Engineering Function

  • What is unique about municipal engineering?
  • What are the challenges of designing municipal infrastructure systems?
  • What tools and standards are used by municipal engineers?

Street Planning, Design, and Maintenance

  • Planning and functional classification systems
  • Urban vs. rural roadway geometric standards
  • Intersections and sidewalks
  • Soils, water, and pavement thickness design
  • Pavement management systems
  • Preventive maintenance and rehabilitation
  • Traffic engineering and operation
  • Traffic engineering studies
  • Understanding a civil engineering plan set

Water Supply Systems 

  • Projecting water system demand
  • Calculating average demand
  • Estimating peak demand
  • Accommodating fire flows

Water Distribution 

  • Water mains
  • Water storage requirements
  • Metering and water loss
  • Valves and hydrants
  • Testing

Water Treatment - Groundwater and Surface Water

  • Physical and chemical processes
  • Hardness and softening
  • Filtration and disinfection

Day 2

Sanitary Sewerage Systems

  • Projecting system capacity
  • Sewer collection systems
    • Design parameters
    • Materials
    • Maintenance
  • Treatment Plant Considerations
    • Hydraulic and waste loadings
    • Phosphorous and nitrogen
    • Special loadings
  • Treatment processes:
    • Primary
    • Secondary
    • Tertiary

Stormwater Drainage and Control Systems

  • Why we manage stormwater
  • Understanding rainfall and runoff, and the “Rational Formula”
  • Drainage system design
  • Catch basins and inlets
  • Flood control: detention, flow control, and regional approaches,
  • Water quality: EPA, NPDES, and MS4s
  • Combined sewers
  • Stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and sustainability

Plan Review

  • What to look for when reviewing plans
  • A simple example of review for compliance with standards

Summary and Questions

Upcoming dates