Water Pollution


Know the different types of water pollutants, inputs, routes and internal processes

Detect and minimize effects of pollutants in organisms and disturbance to ecosystems services

Know the legislation on water pollution (EU and internacional)

Solve numerical applications under different scenarios

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Manuel Fernandes Rodrigues, Maria Paula Oliveira Sobral


Weekly - 4

Total - 34

Teaching language



Available soon



Laws, E. A. 2001. Aquatic Pollution. An Introductory Text. 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York

Clark, R.B. 2000. Marine Pollution. 5th ed. OUP

Other resources:

Technical reports and scientific papers

Teaching method

During lectures the theoretical knowledge of the diferent topics of the syllabus is explained. A final period of the lecture is reserved for interaction with students, discussions and revisions.

The pratical sessions reinforce the theoretical knowledge leading students to understand better the effects of water pollution on ecosystems, through laboratory experiments and problem-solving applications and exercises. Discussion of all topics ensure that students understand and know how to apply the given concepts.

Evaluation components:

Theoretical knowledge - 2 tests

Pratical knowledge - 2 reports/assignments, and short class exercises

Evaluation method

Evaluation is continuous and assessed by  2 tests and 2 lab assigments

Students will use the available resources included in the  "Bibliography" section (books, papers, institutional internet information) and others he may find of interest.

Lectures (50%) - 2 written tests (multiple choice and open questions) - 25% + 25% (average minimum grade for tests is 9.5)

Labs (50%) - students will deliver 2 group assignments  - 30% + 20% (Average minimum grade for lab assignments is 9.5)

Students are required to attend 2/3 of the lab classes otherwise they will not be able to finish the course

Final mark: average of tests (50%) and lab assignments (50%)

Subject matter


I. Introduction to water pollution. Context and definitions. Types of pollutants. Input routes and internal processes. Impact/toxicity and control. European and international regulation.

Organic pollution. Eutrophication



Halogenated  hydrocarbons

Plastics, emerging pollutants

Dredge spoil and solid waste

Radioactivity, thermal pollution

Acid deposition and global warming

II. Indicators of pollution. Monitoring

III. Numerical applications

Labs: Development of pollution topics with emphasis on case studies, including laboratory experiments, exercices and group activities (variable)