The term "sanitary engineering" is sometimes viewed as an obsolete term for
environmental engineering. It is, however, more limited in its scope and is not concerned with environmental factors that do not have an immediate and clearly understood effect on public health. Areas outside the purview of sanitary engineering include trafficmanagement, concerns about noise pollutionor light pollution, aesthetic concerns such as landscaping, trafficmanagement, and environmental conservationas it pertains to plantsand animals.
Although sometimes considered
synonymous with sanitary science, the phrase "sanitary engineering" refers specifically to an applied sciencein which engineeringprinciples are utilized rather than just studied or improved.
Skills within this field are usually employed for the primary goal of
diseaseprevention within human beingsby assuring a supply of healthy drinking water, removing garbage from inhabited areas, and so on.
Compared to (for example)
electrical engineeringor mechanical engineeringwhich are concerned primarily with closed systems, sanitary engineering is a very interdisciplinaryfield which may involve such elements as hydraulics, constructive modelling, information technology, project design, microbiology, pathologyand the many divisions within environmental scienceand environmental technology. In some cases, considerations that fall within the field of social sciencesmust be factored in as well.
Although sanitary engineering may be most associated with the design of
sewers, sewage treatmentand waste water treatmentfacilities, recyclingcenters, public landfills and other things which are constructed, the term applies equally to (for example) a plan of action to reverse the effects of water pollutionor soil contaminationin a specific area.
While the phrase sanitary engineer properly refers to a highly-trained professional in the field of sanitary engineering, this same phrase is often used as a
humorous euphemismfor waste collector, a field of work that requires considerably less specialized education.
The term "sanitary engineering" appears in the names of many municipal departments throughout the
English speaking world. The purview of these departments vary.
Some are involved with a specific are of concern such as
waste collectionor the maintenance of wastewaterfacilities and storm water drainagesystems within a district.
Others cover a broader scope of activities that might include the two just listed as well as such maintenance of the public
water supply, collection of residential yard waste Program, disposal of hazardous waste, recycling strategies and even community programs where individuals or businesses "adopt" an area and either maintain it themselves or donate funds for doing so.
* [http://www.bartleby.com/65/sa/sanitsci.html The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.]
* [http://sanitaryeng.cuyahogacounty.us/ Cuyahoga County Sanitary Engineering Division]
* [http://www.sanitaryengineering.tudelft.nl/ Delft University of Technology]
* [http://www.co.greene.oh.us/saneng/ Greene County Sanitary Engineering Department]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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