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Last updated:

April 16, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


Please note, this course was written in 2003/2004 therefore some of the information is now outdated.

Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is essential to human survival. Understanding the global water cycle and how we use water is essential to planning a sustainable source of water for the future. In the UK there are areas where water supplies are limited, shown by recent droughts. Globally, there are many areas that do not have enough water to support the current population adequately. Decisions will have to be made on the best way to use water in a world where there is climate change. This course, Understanding water quality, helps explain the options.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the chemical compositions of natural waters, and explain how and why these compositions vary
  • Describe the main sources of water pollution, the main types of pollutant and how each type may be controlled
  • Outline the extent of water pollution in the UK and in selected global locations
  • Identify the criteria for drinking water acceptability in the EU, and outline the processes used to treat water for a public water supply
  • Outline how sewage may be treated before discharge to the environment.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:10:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:07:00
  • Natural waters 00:50:00
    • Pollutants 00:20:00
    • Natural organic material 00:25:00
    • Living organisms 00:15:00
    • Plant nutrients 00:07:00
    • Organic and inorganic chemicals 00:07:00
    • Heat 00:07:00
    • The extent of water pollution 00:03:00
    • Surface water 00:50:00
    • Groundwater 00:15:00
    • Treatment of water supplies 00:25:00
    • Water treatment processes 00:35:00
    • Sewage treatment 00:15:00
    • Sewage treatment processes 00:25:00
    • Sludge disposal 00:15:00
    • What do you know about your water supply? 00:25:00
    • Conclusion 00:20:00

About the instructor

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