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Caitlin Proctor and Frederik Hammes investigating biofilms in shower hoses. (Photo: Eawag, Aldo Todaro)
February 15, 2018

A shower hose will often contain more bacteria than the rest of the building’s plumbing system. A research team led by Frederik Hammes has been investigating this topic for the past four years. In their latest study, they analysed biofilms in 78 shower hoses from 11 countries, and in 21 of them, they detected legionella – a potential pathogen. In this interview, Hammes explains why we should not be unduly concerned. Read more

Outskirts of Aleppo. (Photo: ICRC)
December 13, 2017

The EPFL has launched a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in collaboration with Eawag’s Sandec department and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The course is designed to shed light on the important role played by Public Health Engineers at times of humanitarian crisis, and how health risks can be mitigated. Read more

DNA sampling from a sediment core in the safe lab (Photo: Peter Penicka, Eawag)
December 11, 2017

The composition of cyanobacterial communities in peri-alpine lakes has become increasingly similar over the past century. Climate warming and a period of eutrophication have favoured in particular potentially toxic species which can adapt rapidly to environmental changes. These are the findings of an Eawag-led study analysing DNA extracted from sediment cores. Read more

Michael Besmer receives the Otto Jaag Waterprotection Prize from ETH rector Prof. Dr. Sarah Springman. (Photo: ETH Zurich)
November 30, 2017

Michael Besmer has been awarded the 2017 Otto Jaag Water Protection prize for his thesis on “Monitoring short-term dynamics of bacterial concentrations in natural and engineered aquatic ecosystems”. The prize recognises excellent PhD theses and masters dissertations completed at ETH Zurich in the fields of water protection and hydrology.  Read more

Groundwater sounding near Fehraltorf, ZH (Photo: Robin Weatherl, Eawag)
November 23, 2017

In collaboration with the Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermal Energy at the University of Neuchâtel, Eawag recently organised a PEAK Course on the controversial topic of “Groundwater and Agriculture”. A major focal point of the information and discussions was the issue of nitrate pollution. Read more

If large amounts of organic carbon compounds are leached from plastic pipes into water, strong bacterial growth occurs even with regular flushing. (Photo: Vario Images)
October 23, 2017

Although bacteria are an inevitable – and important – component of drinking water, the colonization of pipes by pathogenic organisms can lead to microbiological quality problems. However, according to an Eawag/HSLU project co-funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), various measures can be taken to minimise this risk.  Read more

Resistant bacteria can grow in an antibiotic-treated culture medium. (Photo: Helmut Bürgmann, Eawag)
October 18, 2017

Compared to other foodstuffs, Switzerland’s drinking water shows low levels of contamination with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or resistance genes. This was demonstrated in a study of eight drinking water systems carried out by Eawag researchers on behalf of the Swiss Gas and Water Industry Association (SVGW) and water suppliers. Read more

Ipsach lake waterworks (photo : ESB, Oliver Oettli)
September 1, 2017

Will global warming force a shift in Biel’s drinking water intake? What caused the sudden turbidity of the water supply in the winter of 2009? Eawag has come up with answers to these and other questions for Energy Service Biel, and in the process, new questions have also emerged. Read more

Bastian Etter checks the quality of the stabilised urine, from which fertilizer will be made.
August 25, 2017

Eawag researchers working on the research project “VUNA” have developed a new recycling process with which nutrients in urine can be harvested and used as fertilizer. In order to further their ideology of sustainable handling of water and wastewater and to work out and implement innovative concepts of water and wastewater treatment, the researchers have founded the Spin-off Vuna GmbH.  Read more

Collection of samples from a groundwater pump in the Gujrat district of Punjab province (Photo: Tasawar Khanam, COMSATS)
August 23, 2017

Arsenic-contaminated groundwater used as drinking water or for irrigation may threaten the health of 50 to 60 million people in Pakistan. This is shown by an Eawag-led study – co-financed by SDC – in which data from 1200 groundwater samples was analysed and combined with geological and hydrological parameters to generate a hazard map. Read more