Water Pollution


Knowledge on different types of water pollutants, including inputs, routes and internal processes

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

Knowledge of essential legislation on water pollution (national, EU and international).

Apply simplified numerical methods for pollutant dispersion analysis and water quality assessment of receiving water bodies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Marta Susana Silvestre Gouveia Martins, Paulo Alexandre Marques Diogo


Weekly - 2

Total - 32

Teaching language





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

Frid, C.L.J., Caswell, B.A., 2017. Marine Pollution. Oxford University Press, UK.

Relevant technical reports and scientificv publications.

Teaching method

Basic concepts will be introduced conventionally in the first 3 classes, supported by the available literature, and will be developed further by the student through individual research in the written form and object of oral presentation on the input routes, internal processes and evaluation of the effects of the different pollutants. The practical component includes filed trips for hands-on data collection, lab experiments, and group work on problem solving questions. The teaching methodology in focused on stimulating idea development and autonomy of the students, as well as their curiosity about water pollution and innovation, which can be encouraged under the “Creative Project” subject in the curriculum.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is continuous and assessed by  2 tests (theoretical component) and 2 lab assigments (practical component).

Students will use the available resources included in the  "Bibliography" section (books, papers, institutional internet information) and others each 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: one class presentation  and one report - 25% + 25% (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

Marine litter and microplastics



Radioactivity, thermal and acoustic pollution

II. Pollution indicators. Monitoring equipment and planning. 

III. Numerical applications


Programs where the course is taught: