Biological Aspects of Water Pollution


This module introduces the student to the main pollutants affecting marine and freshwater environments and describes their impacts on aquatic communities, as well as human health. National water quality data will be presented to highlight current threats to water quality in Ireland and Europe, and pollution control methods will be introduced. The student will acquire appropriate techniques for detecting pollutants and monitoring their effects. They will learn how to assess the toxicity of a potential pollutant including the role of experimental design, evaluate environmental risk associated with pharmaceuticals and will be trained in the use of biological indicators of water quality. In addition, statistical concepts for assessment will be introduced. As required, the module will address legislation pertaining to the evaluation of environmental quality and of management practice. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify potential pollutants and describe their effects on aquatic ecosystems.

  2. Evaluate problems caused by pollution of water used for water supply.

  3. Identify and apply appropriate biological, physical, and chemical methods for assessing water quality.

  4. Describe methods for the prevention and mitigation of water pollution.

  5. Evaluate the environmental risks associated with biopharmaceuticals.

  6. Have a knowledge of legislation pertaining to pollution monitoring and assessment, including national, European and international legal frameworks.

% Coursework 60%
% Final Exam 40%