The research focus of the department is to build up understanding of water and pollutant flows in urbanized areas to improve urban water management in practice. Research topics encompass precipitation, its accurate measurement and implication on urban drainage systems (1), hydraulic loading of sewers and surface flooding (2), transport and transformation of anthropogenic substances in sewers (3) and resulting exposure scenarios for receiving waters (4). An additional important research pillar of SWW is the development of the built environment to handle those flows with an emphasis on sewer development (5) and new concepts to deal with wastewater production at the household level (6). In the context of wastewater-based epidemiology the reliable characterization of the sewer system plays an important role (3,7). Drinking water supply is covered by the Eawag Competence Centre for Drinking Water and not part of the SWW research portfolio.
This translates into three main research foci: systems engineering, source typing and tracking and intelligent network operations. The Urban Water Observatory serves as an experimental test bed for these research foci: