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SLE223 - Water Quality and Ecological Health

Unit details

Year2016 unit information
Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Warrnambool
Credit point(s):1
Previously coded as:


EFTSL value:


Unit chair:

Tim Tutt


One of SLE133, SLE155, SLE150



Incompatible with:

SQP205, SQP305

Contact hours:

2 x 1 hour class per week, 4 x 3 hour practicals per trimester, 1 day field trip.


This unit will examine the basic physico-chemical parameters important in ecosystem functioning and the assessment of ecosystem health - dissolved ions (salinity), dissolved gases and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon), particulates, contaminants. Processes governing the loading and transformation of these materials will be studied for a wide range of water bodies - including rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, oceans, groundwater, sewage treatment and aquaculture systems. Background levels of these parameters in natural waters and levels in disturbed ecosystems will be discussed.  The role of these substances as determinants of ecosystem health in water bodies will also be investigated. Sampling of natural waters will also be examined in detail - particularly strategies to avoid contamination and deterioration and improve representativeness of samples. The nature, role, interpretation and application of national water quality guidelines will be described. Common water quality analysis tools and techniques will be considered. An associated series of practical experiments will enhance laboratory skills and demonstrate applications of material introduced in classes.


Assignment 10%, practical exercise 30%, class test 20%, examination 40%

Unit Fee Information

All Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), fee paying undergraduate and pre-2016 commencing students

Unit fee information available soon

2016 commencing International and full fee paying postgraduate domestic students

Your units are priced based on the course you are enrolled in. Please refer to the current year's course entry to estimate the unit cost.

You can calculate the cost of each unit by using the following calculation:

Course fee x unit EFTSL value = unit price

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