Environmental engineering is the integration of sciences and engineering principles to enhance the natural environment, to provide healthy water, air and land for human habitation and for other organisms and to clean up pollution sites.
Natural environment means all living and nonliving things that are naturally on Earth. In a narrow sense, it is an environment that is not influenced by people. The environment that is influenced by humans can be called “the built environment” or cultural landscape.
Environmental engineering can also be described as a branch of applied science and technology that addresses the issue of energy preservation, production asset and control of waste from human and animal activities. It is concerned with finding plausible solutions in the field of public health, such as waterborne diseases, implementing laws which promote adequate sanitation in urban, rural and recreational areas.
Ever since people first recognized that their health and well-being were related to the quality of their environment, they have applied thoughtful principles to attempt to improve the quality of their environment. The ancient Harappan civilization utilized early sewers in some cities. The Romans constructed aqueducts to prevent drought and to create a clean, healthful water supply for the metropolis of Rome. In the 15th century, Bavaria created laws restricting the development and degradation of alpine country that constituted the region’s water supply.
The field emerged as a separate environmental discipline during the middle third of the 20th century in response to widespread public concern about water and pollution and increasingly extensive environmental quality degradation.
However, its roots extend back to early efforts in public health engineering. Modern environmental engineering began in London in the mid-19th century when Joseph Bazalgette designed the first major sewerage system that reduced the incidence of waterborne diseases such as cholera. The introduction of drinking water treatment and sewage treatment in industrialized countries reduced waterborne diseases from leading causes of death to rarities.
The following sectors will cover Environmental Engineering area.
Solid Waste Management
Environmental impact assessment and mitigation
Water supply and treatment
Air pollution management
Environmental Protection Agency
At many universities, environmental engineering programs follow either the department of civil engineering or the department of chemical engineering at engineering faculties.
Environmental “civil” engineers focus on hydrology, water resources management, bioremediation, and water treatment plant design. Environmental “chemical” engineers, on the other hand, focus on environmental chemistry, advanced air and water treatment technologies and separation processes.