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Environmental Engineering Technology – Water Resources

Develop your engineering and science knowledge to manage and protect fresh water resources.

A woman wearing safety glasses, a white lab coat and gloves tests water in a laboratory setting.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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Fresh water sources throughout Canada and the world are being impacted by population and technological growth, contamination and mismanagement and global climate change.

Building on a solid foundation of math, geology and chemistry, the Environmental Engineering Technology - Water Resources program provides the necessary skills in problem solving, research, laboratory and field experience to prepare you to address various environmental issues and protection of natural resources.
In this program you learn:
  • Groundwater exploration and evaluation
  • Surface water and groundwater hydrology
  • Biology in the aquatic environment
  • Principles of water chemistry
  • Practices related to the protection of soil, groundwater and surface water
  • Principles of potable water treatment and wastewater treatment
  • Soil analysis procedures and groundwater remediation principles
  • Well drilling and construction fundamentals
  • Technical applied research project design fundamentals
  • Principles of environmental site assessment
The importance of representative sampling, data collection and interpretation are emphasized throughout the program.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
    • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time employment in a field related to your program.
    • Co-op takes place in third term and must be a minimum of 12 weeks and 420 hours.
    • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • This program is accredited by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC). TAC accreditation means that this program has been evaluated against standards designed by industry leaders across Canada and is recognized internationally. Graduates may be eligible for membership with TechNova, the certifying organization for Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists in Nova Scotia. 
  • You learn the theory and practical aspects of the program through state-of-the-art labs and field work.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • This program has substantial components of technology level Math and Physics as foundational courses for the program.
  • Industrial safety standards require that you have adequate vision and colour perception to operate safely, in the shop and in the field, while performing tasks of this trade.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.


Seats are available for domestic applicants only. International applicants will be waitlisted.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus/Online
Full time Blended
Delivered through a combination of online and in-person classes. At least 50% of learning is in-person.
Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Potential employers include organizations or companies concerned with groundwater and surface water quality and supply, waste management, environmental studies, land use and resource management.
  • Opportunities exist with engineering consulting firms; regulatory agencies; federal, provincial and municipal governments; groundwater and surface water service sectors; the water and wastewater treatment industry; organizations concerned with solid waste disposal; and industries that must monitor process water and wastewater quality.

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COMM 1245 - Technical Communications I
This course introduces students to the writing, oral presentation, critical thinking and interpersonal communications skills required of technical professionals in the workplace. The fundamentals of clear, concise writing and presenting will be reviewed and refined. Experience will be gained in organizing, writing and presenting technical information. In addition, career development skills and portfolio preparation will be discussed. There will be several opportunities, through assignments and lab work, to develop portfolio components. Students will learn how to collect appropriate work samples and documentation from other courses in the program as well as from other sources.

ENGI 1014 - Physics
This is an introductory course in physics for building science. Topics include technical measurements and vectors, translational equilibrium and friction, and application of work, energy and power.

ENTG 1001 - Chemistry I
This course will cover topics including the periodic table, measurement and significant digits, matter and energy, atomic structure, chemical nomenclature, chemical reactions, the mole concept and stoichiometry, gases, redox, and thermodynamics.

ENTG 1003 - Geology - Earth's Materials
Learners are introduced to the basic concepts of physical geology. Topics include the origin of the Earth, plate tectonics and the origin of minerals and rocks, the rock cycle, formation and identification of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, structure and rock deformation.

ENTG 1005 - Biology and Aquatic Environments
The primary focus of the course will be on contemporary unicellular, invertebrate and vertebrate organisms and their nature and roles in the environment, particularly those found at some stage of their development in and around fresh and marine aquatic environments. The effects of human activity on these organisms and their effect on humans will be examined, as well as actions that can be taken to minimize the effects of these impacts to protect existing ecosystems and maintain ecological balance. Particular emphasis in this course will be on the methods of sampling and collecting aquatic organisms, recording, analyzing and interpreting the results of the monitoring and its relevance to the management, conservation, protection and use of aquatic resources.

ENTG 1006 - Computer Applications
Computer applications to be covered in this course include spreadsheets and database management.

ENTG 1007 - Basic Surveying
This course introduces the learner to the basic concepts of levelling. The course is presented in two parts. Part one consists of a block of three lectures, each consisting of three hours. Part two is a five-day field camp held on the campus. During this field camp learners learn the proper use of field instrumentation and associated applications.

ENTG 1008 - Geology Field School
This course comprises a four-day field school which focuses on two components: acquisition of and interpretation of geological field data. A variety of geologic terrains are examined along the shore of the Northumberland Strait, north of Antigonish, which offers a unique setting.

ENTG 1010 - Water Chemistry
This course is a study of geochemical and biochemical processes that influence the chemical makeup of water. Emphasis is placed on controls affecting the chemical quality of natural waters and models used to describe the presence and concentration of dissolved inorganic and organic constituents and dissolved gases. Techniques used to interpret and evaluate chemical analyses are covered along with sampling methods and use of standard water testing equipment.

ENTG 1014 - Drilling
This course covers drilling principles and problems related to drilling performance. Factors that affect the value of the work being done are emphasized whether to gain information on the subsurface (geotechnical studies, resource exploration and evaluation, environmental work), to exploit a resource (groundwater, petroleum, geothermal energy or mining and quarrying operations) or in a wide-variety of other possible purposes of this large and varied industry.

ENTG 1070 - Applied Math for Environmental Engineering Technology I
This course provides students with a basic understanding of applied mathematical principles for use by technicians and technology programs. It is designed to cover basic algebra, geometry, functional notation, linear equations, quadratic equations, trigonometric functions, exponents, and systems of equations. Students are encouraged to maintain a math journal that may become part of their personal College portfolio.

ENTG 1100 - Work Experience
These evaluations are a continuation of Environmental Engineering Technology, Communications Skills IV, and are part of the Pass/No Pass evaluation of the Work Experience (WE). Learners have been gathering research material during their WE in accordance with instructions given in Communications Skills IV during Semester Five. Upon returning to the campus after four weeks of WE, learners will submit their journal for evaluation. In addition, each learner will give a major oral presentation, describing his/her WE and his/her observations, to a non-technical audience. This course is technology-specific; it is unique to the Environmental Engineering Technology program. See also the NSCC guidelines for learners and employers for Work Experience expectations.

ENTG 2001 - Chemistry II
This course will cover topics of liquids and solids, solutions, acid and bases, chemical equilibrium, oxidation and reduction, chemical bonding and is time is permitted organic chemistry. This course will also introduce the learner to environmental chemistry.

ENTG 2003 - Geology - Earth's External Environment
This course will provide the learners with basic geologic concepts related to the changing landscape of the earth. Topics include erosion, mass movement, landform evolution, river systems, groundwater, glacial, shoreline systems, earth’s seismicity, reflection seismic profiling and earth’s resources.

ENTG 2004 - Physics II
This course is a continuation of ENTG 1004 (Physics I) and covers topics such as two-dimensional motion, work, energy, power, momentum, rotational motion, bodies in equilibrium and properties of fluids.

ENTG 2015 - Geographic Information Systems I
The course is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and provides the introductory skills and knowledge required to work with GIS software. Topics include general GIS concepts, creating and customizing map projects, identifying, selecting and labelling features on a map, map design, building geodatabases, importing and exporting data and editing data.

ENTG 2016 - Applied Research Project I
This is the first of two closely-related courses designed to give you an opportunity to bring the range of your skills and knowledge in Environmental Engineering Technology together in the completion of your Senior Environmental Engineering Technology Design Project. You will start developing your Senior Environmental Engineering Technology Design Project in the fall semester of your senior year as part of ENTG 2016 and you will complete your Senior Environmental Engineering Technology Design Project in the winter semester through the completion of ENTG 3016 (Applied Research Project). In this first course (ENTG 2016), you will select an appropriate environmental engineering technology topic in concert with your technical faculty. By establishing good working relationships with an external mentor (where possible) to facilitate working on a “real world” engineering issue, you will develop a comprehensive project plan including timelines and benchmarks, as well as demonstrating your understanding of materials, labour, and costing issues associated with your design project. This project design will comprise your Conceptual Design Report. Your Conceptual Design Report and your supporting presentation will be reviewed and critiqued by faculty towards the end of the semester to assist you in the execution of your project schedule and the completion of your actual Senior Design Report in the winter term.

ENTG 2070 - Applied Math for Environmental Engineering Technology II
This course provides students with a basic understanding of applied mathematical principles for use by technicians and technology programs. It is designed to cover complex algebra, linear equations, quadratic equations, trigonometric functions, exponents, logarithms, complex numbers, analytic geometry and systems of equations. Students are encouraged to maintain a math journal that may become part of their personal College portfolio.

ENTG 3000 - Limnology
This course focuses on the functioning of lakes and controls affecting lake ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on the interconnectedness of the physical, chemical and biological environments as they affect the productivity of lakes that occur in temperate regions of northern latitudes.

ENTG 3001 - Soil Science
This course is an introduction to the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils within the context of soil and land use and the role that soils play in the environment. Topics include soil genesis, the morphology and classification of soils and the organization of soil information in maps and reports. Physical and biogeochemical processes involving the interaction of soil water, solids, pores and biota are stressed and related to problems of water resources management, soil degradation and agricultural and non-agricultural uses of soils.

ENTG 3002 - Well Construction
This course covers principles and problems related to water well design and construction. It deals with the three broad aspects of water well technology that include well drilling technology, well completion and development technology and well maintenance and rehabilitation technology. Although the emphasis is on water wells, these considerations can be applied to any well construction setting including environmental monitoring well installation.

ENTG 3003 - Surface Water Hydrology
This course introduces the learners to the concepts of surface water flow, interaction with the atmosphere, ground water and applications to engineering design. Topics include atmospheric aspects of the hydrologic cycle, precipitation and runoff, stream flow, flood analysis and flood control.

ENTG 3004 - Water Supply and Treatment
The course is concerned with the production and delivery of potable water. The focus is on conventional municipal operations in which raw source water is treated to make it safe, aesthetically pleasing and useful. Topics include elements of public water supply systems, various municipal uses of water, water quality considerations, contaminant identification, physical and chemical treatment processes, plant design and operation, water distribution systems including their construction and maintenance along with the analysis of flow in pipes and pipe networks. The laboratory sessions stress standard testing procedures conducted in a water treatment plant.

ENTG 3006 - Contaminant Hydrogeology
This course builds on concepts dealt with in Water Chemistry, Soil Science, and Hydrology to consider the problem of soil and groundwater contamination. It begins with a study of the chemical evolution of groundwater. This is followed by identification of various organic and inorganic contaminants that affect groundwater and soil quality. Reactive and non-reactive transport and fate processes influencing contaminants are described. Monitoring well design and installation is detailed along with the rationale behind sampling program design and implementation. Available options for site remediation of contaminated soils and groundwater round out the course.

ENTG 3007 - Engineering Economics
This course introduces learners to basic engineering economics theory including the time value of money and the concept of equivalence. Topics include terminology and cash flow diagrams, interest factors, annuities, present worth and future worth analysis, gradients, nominal and effective interest rates and use of multiple factors.

ENTG 3008 - Environmental Site Assessment
This course focuses on a variety of issues pertaining to human interaction with our environment. A common sense approach to assessing impacts of human activity is used to emphasize the importance of due diligence in both reactive and proactive measures taken.

ENTG 3009 - Groundwater Evaluation
Groundwater Evaluation focuses on the application of aquifer testing methods commonly used to determine aquifer hydraulic parameters and water well performance. Topics also include the effects that various hydrogeological conditions have on test results and procedures for conducting aquifer and slug tests.

ENTG 3010 - Groundwater Hydrology
This course introduces the learners to the concepts of groundwater flow and hydrogeologic principles. Topics covered include the hydrologic cycle, local and regional groundwater flow, geologic materials and effective stress, Darcy's Law, flow nets to predict seepage, aquifer and flow-net modelling, groundwater applications to civil engineering design.

ENTG 3011 - Wastewater Treatment and Disposal
The course is directed primarily to the collection, treatment and disposal of municipal wastewater. Learners become familiar with various types of collection systems, pipe specifications, sewer construction and maintenance, wastewater treatment including primary and various secondary treatment processes, along with wastewater treatment plant design and operation. Laboratory sessions cover standard tests performed for process control and compliance purposes.

ENTG 3015 - Geographic Information Systems II
The course is part two of an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Topics include general GIS concepts, identifying and selecting features, importing and exporting data, creating and editing spatial data, querying and analyzing spatial data, spatial data overlays, creating buffers, and spatial data processing.

ENTG 3016 - Applied Research Project II
This course further develops the learners’ technical documentation and applied research skills in conjunction with other courses in the Environmental Engineering Technology. Learners will produce and present an independent applied research report that will utilize the knowledge and skills developed throughout the program. Each learner will be assigned a faculty advisor to assist and evaluate him/her on technical issues.

MATH 1032 - Engineering Statistics
This course introduces students to basic statistics and data management including probability and probability distributions. Topics include central tendency, measures of variation and position, basic rules for probability, binomial and normal distributions and hypothesis testing.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Safety Basics – Working at Heights
The student is introduced to hazards and responsibilities concerned with working at heights in the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

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