Drinking Water

Prevention is better than cure

Thanks to the fact that Switzerland’s surface waters have been kept clean, this maxim has to a large extent been upheld. However, the presence of new (harmful) substances allows no room for complacency on this front. Globally, there is an urgent need for cost-effective and energy-efficient water treatment solutions on various scales - all the way through to wastewater recycling.


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May 9, 2017

Analyses of environmental gases which previously required months of laboratory work can now be carried out rapidly in the field. A group of Eawag scientists have developed a portable mass spectrometer allowing on-site measurements – and a spin-off has been created to commercialize the new system. Read more

April 27, 2017

If drinking water or wastewater containing bromide is treated with ozone to remove micropollutants, bromate – a potentially carcinogenic substance – is formed. Eawag scientists have developed a new process which makes it possible to minimize bromate formation during ozonation. This is achieved by transferring ozone to the water in small doses through the pores of PTFE membranes.  Read more

Scientific publications

Breider,F.; von Gunten,U. (2017) Quantification of total N‑nitrosamine concentrations in aqueous samples via uv-photolysis and chemiluminescence detection of nitric oxide, Analytical Chemistry, 89(3), 1574-1582, doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.6b03595, Institutional Repository
Hering,J.G.; Katsoyiannis,I.A.; Ahumada Theoduloz,G.; Berg,M.; Hug,S.J. (2017) Arsenic removal from drinking water: experiences with technologies and constraints in practice, Journal of Environmental Engineering, 143(5), 03117002 (9 pp.), Institutional Repository
Besmer,M.D.; Epting,J.; Page,R.M.; Sigrist,J.A.; Huggenberger,P.; Hammes,F. (2016) Online flow cytometry reveals microbial dynamics influenced by concurrent natural and operational events in groundwater used for drinking water treatment, Scientific Reports, 6, article 38462 (10 pp.), doi:10.1038/srep38462, Institutional Repository
Nescerecka,A.; Juhna,T.; Hammes,F. (2016) Behavior and stability of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) during chlorine disinfection, Water Research, 101, 490-497, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.05.087, Institutional Repository
Shen,Yun; Huang,C.; Monroy,G.L.; Janjaroen,D.; Derlon,N.; Lin,J.; Espinosa-Marzal,R.; Morgenroth,E.; Boppart,S.A.; Ashbolt,N.J.; Liu,Wen Tso; Nguyen,Thanh H. (2016) Response of simulated drinking water biofilm mechanical and structural properties to long-term disinfectant exposure, Environmental Science and Technology, 50(4), 1779-1787, doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b04653, Institutional Repository
To the library
Lanz,K.; Rahn,E.; Siber,R.; Stamm,C. (2014) NFP 61 – Thematische Synthese 2 im Rahmen des Nationalen Forschungsprogramms NFP 61 «Nachhaltige Wassernutzung» Bewirtschaftung der Wasserressourcen unter steigendem Nutzungsdruck, 84 S., Institutional Repository
Hoffmann,S.; Hunkeler,D.; Maurer,M. (2014) Nachhaltige Wasserversorgung und Abwasserentsorgung in der Schweiz. Herausforderungen und Handlungsoptionen, 86 S., Institutional Repository

Selected research projects and programs

Wings is an inter- and transdisciplinary strategic research program that strives to develop novel non-grid-connected water and sanitation systems that can function as comparable alternatives to network-based systems.


Prof. Dr. Janet Hering
  • biogeochemistry
  • sustainable water management
  • water treatment
  • water quality
Dr. Stephan Hug
  • arsenic
  • solid-water interfaces
  • groundwater
  • spectroscopic methods
Prof. Dr. Rolf Kipfer
  • noble gases
  • isotopes
Dr. Wouter Pronk
  • drinking water
  • water treatment
Prof. Dr. Mario Schirmer
  • groundwater
  • hydrogeology
  • modeling
  • surface water
Prof. Dr. Urs Von Gunten
  • advanced oxidation processes
  • ozonation
  • drinking water
  • water treatment
Prof. Dr. Lenny Winkel
  • inorganic contaminants
  • arsenic
  • groundwater
  • organic pollutants
  • sediments
  • selenium