Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Groundwater Quality

Overall Course Objectives

The overall objective of the course is to provide students with the technical skills required for groundwater resources quality management. Students will gain competences in i) groundwater flow and transport processes, ii) water quality assessment including quantitative evaluation of major environmental problems due to diffuse pollution of aquifer systems, iii) aquatic chemistry and groundwater quality, iv) modeling geochemical equilibria and (bio)chemical reactions. Examples and problems will be selected to illustrate key theoretical issues, groundwater quality challenges and expose the students to practical groundwater quality management.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the principles of groundwater flow, solute transport and water abstraction
  • Analyze groundwater quality problems and relation to drinking water quality criteria
  • Evaluate the impact of contamination on groundwater resources
  • Understand the processes that determine groundwater quality, as well as the mechanisms of release and transport of groundwater contaminants
  • Describe chemical and microbiological processes, identify effects of geogenic processes and anthropogenic impacts on groundwater systems and quality
  • Examine practical groundwater quality problems, and identify and apply the theory relevant to solving them
  • Incorporate process knowledge and observations (data) of groundwater systems into models and employ them to assist in understanding and solving groundwater quality problems
  • Apply modeling tools for quantitatively describing geochemical and biogeochemical processes
  • Review and disseminate scientific publications about a specific groundwater quality challenge and disseminate the knowledge in a short paper and an oral presentation

Course Content

Topics will include: introduction to groundwater flow, reactive transport in porous media, and water abstraction. Description of biogeochemical processes including concepts of equilibrium, sorption and ion exchange, carbonate system, redox processes, major problems of groundwater contamination by diffuse pollution sources (e.g., nitrate, pesticides, PFAS-compounds and arsenic contamination), as well as application of insight into flow, transport and reactive processes to solve practical problems related to management of quality and quantity of groundwater.

Recommended prerequisites

Teaching Method

The course employs a mix of lectures, tutorials, computer modelling, written assignments and an oral presentation. Assignment work is conducted in groups.



Technological Specialization course, MSc in Environmental Engineering

The course is part of the study line ‘Water Resources Engineering’ in the MSc in Environmental Engineering

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 12336
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Tues 13-17

7.500,00 DKK