From the Greek sapros, meaning rotten.
Saprobicity is a complex of physiological and biochemical properties of an organism (saprobiont), which determines its ability to develop in water with a certain content of organic substances and pollutants, which enter water bodies mainly with domestic sewage and industrial effluents.
Saprobic organisms are organisms that live in waters containing significant amounts of organic matter. Depending on the degree of pollution, polysaprobic, mesosaprobic and oligosaprobic organisms are distinguished. The composition, number and structure of saprobic communities serve as criteria for assessing the degree of pollution of water bodies. The ability of saprobic organisms to mineralise organic contaminants is used to enhance the self-purification of water, particularly wastewater.