Department Surface Waters - Research and Management

Surface Waters -
Research & Management (Surf)

We focus both on processes in the aquatic environment as well as on entire systems of natural waters.

We perform basic and applied research and several projects have a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary focus, including system analysis. Read more


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While wastewater treatment essentially represents a barrier to the spread of antibiotic resistance genes, these genes are enriched in relative terms at WWTPs. (Photo: Werdhölzli WWTP)
December 12, 2018

Antibiotic resistance genes are not completely eliminated by wastewater treatment. While some resistance genes are present in the influent, many others are found in activated sludge bacteria. A recent Eawag study shows that, rather than merely passing through, resistance genes are active and evolve within treatment plants. Read more

Latest Publications

Nouchi, V.; Kutser, T.; Wüest, A.; Müller, B.; Odermatt, D.; Baracchini, T.; Bouffard, D. (2019) Resolving biogeochemical processes in lakes using remote sensing, Aquatic Sciences, 81(2), 27 (13 pp.), doi:10.1007/s00027-019-0626-3, Institutional Repository
Wilkes, M. A.; Gittins, J. R.; Mathers, K. L.; Mason, R.; Casas-Mulet, R.; Vanzo, D.; Mckenzie, M.; Murray-Bligh, J.; England, J.; Gurnell, A.; Jones, J. I. (2019) Physical and biological controls on fine sediment transport and storage in rivers, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, e1331 (21 pp.), doi:10.1002/wat2.1331, Institutional Repository
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Research Projects

Wastewater is a source of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We study their dissemination in the aquatic environment, and strategies to remove them.
Lakes store large amounts of heat. To what extent can this heat be used to replace the use of fossil fuels or electricity for heating and cooling purposes?
We assess the environmental impacts of hydropower plants to support a sustainable development of this energy resource.
4’000 river kilometers will be rehabilitated in Switzerland over the course of the coming 80 years – a unique opportunity for learning!