Optimise and overcome new challenges

The wastewater infrastructure in Switzerland is worth 125 billion Swiss francs. Nine hundred treatment plants clean the country’s wastewater around the clock. Part of the work of Eawag is to examine how this success story can be continuously optimised and tailored to suit the particular conditions in other countries, as well as to look at how to overcome new challenges


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October 10, 2017

A study just published by Eawag scientists shows that gold and silver each amounting to around CHF 1.5 million a year are lost via effluents and sludge from wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland. The concentrations measured do not pose risks to the environment – and recycling would not be economically worthwhile. However, the study also produced surprising findings on other trace elements in wastewater, including rare earth metals such as gadolinium and the heavy metal niobium. Read more

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

Scientific publications

Aymerich, I.; Acuña, V.; Ort, C.; Rodríguez-Roda, I.; Corominas, L. (2017) Fate of organic microcontaminants in wastewater treatment and river systems: an uncertainty assessment in view of sampling strategy, and compound consumption rate and degradability, Water Research, 125, 152-161, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2017.08.011, Institutional Repository
Moy de Vitry, M.; Dicht, S.; Leitão, J. P. (2017) floodX: urban flash flood experiments monitored with conventional and alternative sensors, Earth System Science Data, 9(2), 657-666, doi:10.5194/essd-9-657-2017, Institutional Repository
Vriens, B.; Voegelin, A.; Hug, S. J.; Kaegi, R.; Winkel, L. H. E.; Buser, A. M.; Berg, M. (2017) Quantification of element fluxes in wastewaters: a nationwide survey in Switzerland, Environmental Science and Technology, 51(19), 10943-10953, doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b01731, Institutional Repository
Carbajal, J. P.; Leitão, J. P.; Albert, C.; Rieckermann, J. (2017) Appraisal of data-driven and mechanistic emulators of nonlinear simulators: the case of hydrodynamic urban drainage models, Environmental Modelling and Software, 92, 17-27, doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2017.02.006, Institutional Repository
Derlon, N.; Thürlimann, C.; Dürrenmatt, D.; Villez, K. (2017) Batch settling curve registration via image data modeling, Water Research, 114, 327-337, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2017.01.049, Institutional Repository
To the library
Wunderlin, P.; Joss, A.; Siegrist, H.; Abegglen, C.; Schärer, M. (2015) Verfahrenstechnik Mikroverunreinigungen. www.micropoll.ch - Wissensplattform des VSA, Aqua & Gas, 95(2), 14-19, Institutional Repository
Kaufmann, M.; Dürrenmatt, D.; Villez, K. (2015) Verstecktes Potenzial in Kläranlagendaten. Anlageoptimierung dank systematischer Datenauswertung, Aqua & Gas, 95(2), 76-81, Institutional Repository
Larsen, T. A.; Udert, K. M.; Lienert, J. (2014) Abwassertrennung und Dezentralisierung, Aqua & Gas, 94(1), 52-54, Institutional Repository
Vögeli, Y.; Lohri, C. R.; Gallardo, A.; Diener, S.; Zurbrügg, C. (2014) Anaerobic digestion of biowaste in developing countries. Practical information and case studies, 135 p, Institutional Repository

Current 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.
The National Research Programme "Sustainable Water Management" (NRP 61) developed scientific foundations and methods for sustainable management of Switzerland's water resources.


Marc Böhler
  • wastewater treatment
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Dr. Nicolas Derlon
  • wastewater
  • wastewater treatment
  • wastewater treatment plant
Dr. Adriano Joss
  • wastewater
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Dr. Kai Udert
  • wastewater separation
  • decentralized technologies
  • nutrients
  • urine separation
  • resource recovery