Quality of Life

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The curricular unit pursues the following objectives:

Understand the basic concepts of water quality in natural systems (surface and groundwater), considering the natural processes and pollution sources;

Know the physicochemical and microbiological parameters that define the water quality to distinct utilizations;

Know the laboratory procedures for chemical and microbiological analysis for monitoring and assess water quality considering the applicable legal requirements.


Chemical equilibrium. Reversible and irreversible reactions;

Ionic equilibrium, Acid-Base and REDOX;

Water pollution overview: Human activities impacts in water quality;

Chemical parameters and analytical methods;

Legal requirements for drinking water quality and for other uses;

Emerging contaminants;

Microorganisms in aquatic environments;

Biological and physiological diversity in aquatic environments;

Microbial growth in solid and liquid media and biofilms. Microbial control populations;

Microbial importance in the biogeochemical cycles;

Waterborne diseases. Indicators of faecal contamination.


1. Effect of temperature and concentration on the equilibrium of reversible reactions;

2. Precipitation, complexation and redox reactions;

3. Odour and flavour determination in human drinking water;

4. Heavy metals concentration;

5. Laboratory security rules in microbiology and aseptic;

6. Manual microorganism counts methods: plating. Most Probable Number (MPN) technique.

Teaching Methodologies

Within this subject, organized in lectures and laboratories, the students will receive lectures to introduce basic concepts, followed by individual and/or group research of selected contents to prepare a class discussion, moderated by the teachers. The lectures to solving problems are focused to water chemistry basilar concepts. The evaluation consists of two written tests (mid-term and end of semester) with both theoretical and practical components, and the laboratory reports of practices.


AWWA – American Water Works Association (1998). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th ed. APHA, WEF, USA.

Boyd, C.E. (2000). Water Quality – An introduction. Kluwer, Países Baixos.

Champman, D. (1996). Water Quality Assessment. 2nd Ed. UNEP/WHO, E&FN Spon, 626pp.

Decreto-Lei n.º 152/2017, de 7 de Dezembro. Qualidade da água para consumo humano.

Mendes, B., Santos Oliveira J.F. (2005). Qualidade da água para consumo humano. Lidel. Lisboa, 640pp.

Mara d. & Horan N. (2003). The Handbook of Water and Wastewater Microbiology. Academic Press, Londres, Reino Unido.

Pepper I.L. & Gerba C.P. (2004). Environmental Microbiology – A Laboratory Manual. 2nd Ed. Elsevier, San Diego, EUA.

Sawyer C., McCarty P. & Parking G.F. (Eds). (2003). Chemistry for Environmental Engineering and Science. 5th Ed. McGraw-Hill Int. Ed. 752pp.

WHO (2011). Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. 4th Ed. WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication data. ISBN 978 92 4 1548151.



ECTS Credits



  • Práticas e Laboratórios - 18 hours
  • Teóricas - 28 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • Laboratory component: 30%
  • Theoretical component: 70%