Design of Sanitary Sewer Systems

CE 59700.2

Credit Hours:



Rao S. Govindaraju

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Calculate flowrates and depths for open channel flow applications
  • Calculate waste water flows to determine capacities for sewer pipes
  • Analyze and design sanitary sewer systems to carry wastewater flows by gravity


Proper design of sanitary sewer systems is essential for managing the collection and disposal of wastewaters and thereby maintaining a healthy community. In this course, we will learn principles of open channels, and use Manning equation to express energy losses due to frictional resistance. We will review concepts of uniform flows, specific energy and critical flows to calculate gradually varied flow profiles and learn about the Saint Venant equations for one-dimensional open channel flows. We will also study the different sources of wastewater, variability of flowrates, types of drainage systems, and design considerations for sanitary sewers. A project at the end of the course will provide hands-on experience in designing a sanitary sewer system by gravity flow over a study area. It is highly recommended that you complete this course before moving on to Part III (CE59700.3), which is focused on managing urban water resources.

Topics Covered:

  • Open Channel Definitions
  • Frictional Resistance
  • Normal and Critical Depths
  • Nonuniform Flows
  • Saint-Venant Equations
  • Sources of Wastewater Flows
  • Design Considerations
  • Sanitary Sewer Design


A basic undergraduate course in fluid mechanics is required. Learners should have familiarity with mass, momentum, and energy conservation equations along with an ability to apply them. Ability to formulate and solve nonlinear algebraic equations will be useful. Some familiarity with numerical analysis is desirable. Completion of CE59700.1 Analysis and Design of Water Distribution Systems would be highly desired.

Applied / Theory:

Focus on applications

Web Address:

Web Content:

Syllabus, grades, lecture notes, homework assignments, solutions and quizzes








None required

Computer Requirements:

A personal computer with Microsoft Office suite.

Microsoft Excel with Solver Add-in

  • Microsoft Excel will be required to complete assignments in this course.
  • The Solver Add-in must be enabled in Microsoft Excel. To enable the Solver Add-in, complete the following steps:
    1. In Microsoft Excel, select the File tab
    2. Select Options and then choose Add-ins
    3. In the Manage drop-down field, select Excel Add-ins. Then, choose Go.
    4. Select the checkbox next to “Solver Add-in” to enable it and then choose OK
    5. Select the Data tab. Solver will now appear in the Analyze section.