Department Urban Water Management

Stormwater quality and reuse

The group’s main research focus is on urban stormwater quality and its impact on human health and the environment. Stormwater washed off urban areas contains a variety of potentially toxic contaminants and the risk to human health and the environment is often unknown. The research involves the development of novel field measurement techniques for pollutant analysis and pollutant flow modelling to quantify catchment-wide impacts. The stormwater quality and reuse group focuses on the following research areas:

Fit-for-purpose stormwater quality solutions: Future water-wise cities need to rely on urban stormwater use and circular solutions to inhibit the effects of water scarcity, water quality degradation and to improve water efficiency. To this end, pollutant flow modelling for urban catchments is being developed to determine appropriate control measures for stormwater use options while taking into consideration  the risks for human health and the environment.

Alternative stormwater monitoring techniques: By developing novel monitoring approaches based on the data collected with passive samplers and online sensors, we gain insights into the occurrence, removal and risk of micropollutants in stormwater control systems (blue-green and grey infrastructure). The aim is to use this monitoring approach at an increasing number of sites, to overcome the limitations of traditional approaches.

Group leader


Fabienne Maire Tel. +41 58 765 5208 Send Mail
Laura Waldner Tel. +41 58 765 6442 Send Mail


Quantifying micropollutants in stormwater control systems

Former projects

Quantifying micropollutant loads in combined and separate sewer overflows


Jensen, D. M. R., Mutzner, L., Wei, Y., Mikkelsen, P. S., & Vezzaro, L. (2024). Temporal variations in micropollutant inlet concentrations matter when planning the design and compliance assessment of stormwater control measures. Journal of Environmental Management, 356, 120583 (10 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2024.120583, Institutional Repository
Zhang, K., Zheng, Z., Mutzner, L., Shi, B., McCarthy, D., Le-Clech, P., … Deletic, A. (2024). Review of trace organic chemicals in urban stormwater: concentrations, distributions, risks, and drivers. Water Research, 258, 121782 (11 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.watres.2024.121782, Institutional Repository
Furrer, V., Mutzner, L., Ort, C., & Singer, H. (2023). Micropollutant concentration fluctuations in combined sewer overflows require short sampling intervals. Water Research X, 21, 100202 (8 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.wroa.2023.100202, Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Zhang, K., Luthy, R. G., Arp, H. P. H., & Spahr, S. (2023). Urban stormwater capture for water supply: look out for persistent, mobile and toxic substances. Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, 9, 3094-3102. doi:10.1039/D3EW00160A, Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Furrer, V., Castebrunet, H., Dittmer, U., Fuchs, S., Gernjak, W., … Vezzaro, L. (2022). A decade of monitoring micropollutants in urban wet-weather flows: what did we learn?. Water Research, 223, 118968 (14 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118968, Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Bohren, C., Mangold, S., Bloem, S., & Ort, C. (2020). Spatial differences among micropollutants in sewer overflows: a multisite analysis using passive samplers. Environmental Science and Technology, 54(11), 6584-6593. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b05148, Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Mangold, S., Dicht, S., Bohren, C., Vermeirssen, E. L. M., Scheidegger, A., … Ort, C. (2019). Mikroverunreinigungen aus Siedlungen. Messungen in 20 Mischabwasserentlastungen mit Passivsammler. Aqua & Gas, 99(10), 28-35. , Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Vermeirssen, E. L. M., & Ort, C. (2019). Passive samplers in sewers and rivers with highly fluctuating micropollutant concentrations – Better than we thought. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 361, 312-320. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.07.040, Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Vermeirssen, E. L. M., Mangold, S., Maurer, M., Scheidegger, A., Singer, H., … Ort, C. (2019). Passive samplers to quantify micropollutants in sewer overflows: accumulation behaviour and field validation for short pollution events. Water Research, 160, 350-360. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2019.04.012, Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L. Z. (2019). Spatiotemporal variability of micropollutants in sewer overflows (Doctoral dissertation). doi:10.3929/ethz-b-000349443, Institutional Repository
Zheng, Y., Mutzner, L., Ort, C., Kaegi, R., & Gottschalk, F. (2019). Modelling engineered nanomaterials in wet-weather discharges. NanoImpact, 16, 100188 (8 pp.). doi:10.1016/j.impact.2019.100188, Institutional Repository
Eggimann, S., Mutzner, L., Wani, O., Schneider, M. Y., Spuhler, D., Moy de Vitry, M., … Maurer, M. (2017). The potential of knowing more: a review of data-driven urban water management. Environmental Science and Technology, 51(5), 2538-2553. doi:10.1021/acs.est.6b04267, Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Mangold, S., Maurer, M., Scheidegger, A., Singer, H., Vermeirssen, E., & Ort, C. (2017). Passive sampling: an efficient way to monitor micropollutants in sewer overflows? (pp. 10-17). Presented at the 14th IWA/IAHR international conference on urban drainage (ICUD). Prague: CZWA; Czech Technical University; IAHR/AIRH; IWA. , Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L., Staufer, P., & Ort, C. (2016). Model-based screening for critical wet-weather discharges related to micropollutants from urban areas. Water Research, 104, 547-557. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2016.08.003, Institutional Repository
Faust, V. (2013). Aufenthaltszeit von Urin in einem Urinsammelsystem (Bachelor thesis). 16 p. , Institutional Repository
Mutzner, L. (2011). GIS based assessment of the fate of micropollutants in combined sewerages (Master thesis). 45 p. , Institutional Repository