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Environmental Engineering

By: Tabitha Mishra
| Last updated: August 21, 2017

What Does Environmental Engineering Mean?

Environmental engineering is a subset of civil engineering that uses scientific and engineering principles to improve the quality of air, water, and land.

An environmental engineer’s work includes improving the quality of recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.

Safeopedia Explains Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers study problems related to environmental pollution and contamination, and develop technical solutions to solve or control them in ways that are compatible with legislative, social, political, and economic concerns.

Civil engineers typically tasked with this process, as they deal with water supply and treatment, sewage treatment, surface water management, groundwater quality, contaminated site remediation, and solid waste management.

Environmental engineers also:

  • Plan, design, construct, and operate water and wastewater treatment facilities
  • Model and analyze surface water and groundwater quality
  • Design soil remediation systems
  • Plan for the disposal and reuse of wastewater and sludge
  • Collect, transport, process, recover, and dispose of solid waste
  • Develop efficient fuel methods

Environmental Engineering Specializations

Environmental engineering includes a variety of specializations:

  • Coastal engineering focuses on risks and demands arising from developments along the coastline. Among other things, coastal engineers may be responsible for monitoring wave activity and harm to coastal flora and fauna.
  • Geophysical engineering develops better and safer methods for resource extraction or mining.
  • Water resources engineering focuses on inventing and improving equipment for water resource management.
  • Ocean engineering covers the ocean environment and overlaps with other fields such as marine biology and oceanography.

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