Date of Graduation

Winter 12-15-2023

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Tracy L. Benning


The amount of wastewater has surged alongside population growth, urbanization, and economic development, which can influence the wastewater treatment process, especially in the treatment capacity, particularly in developing countries. In Colombia, the low coverage of Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) leads to a complex environmental issue. This has threatened water quality and aquatic ecosystems of waterbodies that receive this type of water by increasing disease prevalence and creating hypoxic conditions. To determine how a WWTP could impact water quality, it was necessary to understand the treatment process and the physicochemical parameters being monitored. The focus is to answer the central research question of how the management of a WWTP can impact the quality of water discharge, with a particular focus on Yopal, Colombia. The surge of raw wastewater treated in a WWTP that has yet to be upgraded to accommodate population growth and respond to regulatory and environmental challenges impacts communities downstream of the discharge point. The case of Yopal WWTP served to demonstrate the necessity to implement, improve, and upgrade wastewater management practices as well as monitor water quality parameters such as BOD, COD, and TSS by using GIS practices and implementing better guidelines for domestic wastewater reuse for land use practices such as agriculture, and human use. Finally, public awareness, engagement, and community education are pivotal in promoting responsible water use and wastewater disposal.