Aquatic Pollution and Wastewater Management

(Course Code: ENV513 – ‘WASTE’)

Semester: Spring Teaching Period: 3 weeks ECTS Credits: 2 Type:


Coordinator: Michael ANGELIDIS Instructors: Michael ANGELIDIS
Olga-Ioanna KALANTZI


The aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding about the key concepts of aquatic pollution from municipal and industrial wastewater and the organisation of relevant pollution monitoring programs. The objectives of the course are to provide students with an understanding about: a) the characteristics of municipal wastewater and the basic treatment processes; b) the fate of organic matter, pathogens, nutrients and metals in the aquatic environment; c) the ecological and public health effects of major wastewater contaminants; d) the organisation and implementation of a pollution monitoring program to assess the environmental quality of the receiving water bodies. The key EU Legislation to assess the status of freshwater and marine environments and to allow wastewater discharge to the environment will also be presented.

After successfully completing this course, the students will be able to understand:

• The nature of major groups of contaminants occurring in municipal and industrial wastewater
• The fate of contaminants in the receiving water bodies
• The ecological and public health effects of major wastewater contaminants
• The fundamentals of wastewater treatment, including the common physical, chemical and biological unit operations encountered in treatment process
• The EU statutory and regulatory approaches to water quality management, water quality standards and criteria and wastewater management
• The principles for the organisation of a receiving water and wastewater quality monitoring program

  • Introduction to water pollution: key concepts of pollution; major classes of chemical water pollutants; sources, transport and fate in the aquatic environment; impact to human health and the aquatic ecosystem
  • Biodegradable organic matter – oxygen demanding wastes; nutrients and eutrophication; petroleum hydrocarbons; heavy metals; persistent organic pollutants; emerging contaminants; marine litter and microplastics
  • Legislation and agreements: EU Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC); EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Directive 2008/56/EC); Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, Minamata Convention on Mercury; Regional Seas Conventions (OSPAR, HELCOM, MAP)
  • Introduction to aquatic toxicology: effects on the cellular, tissue and organ level; sublethal toxicity; acute and chronic lethal toxicity; aquatic toxicity testing
  • Health effects of water pollution: effects on populations, communities and ecosystems; basic concepts of environmental epidemiology; water quality and water-borne diseases
  • Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: characteristics, basic processes and legislation
  • Sewage Sludge Treatment and Reuse: methods and legislation
  • Field trip: Visit to the municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant of Mytilene

Students will be individually graded based on:

  1. Individual assessment (written exam on lecture material) (40%)
  2. Evaluation of group written report– case study (60%)
Activities Estimated Workload

Field trips

Independent Work/Study




TOTAL 50 hours
Notes provided:
Basic Textbook:
Language: English
Internet Links: