Department Urban Water Management


The projects of the department Urban Water Management are organised according to research areas:

Systems Engineering  (Tove Larsen, Max Maurer, Joao Leitao) looks at the engineering options and methodologies to lead the urban water infrastructures into a sustainable future.

Source typing and tracking (Christoph Ort, Jörg Rieckermann, Frank Blumensaat) The quantification of pollutant loads in wastewater is on the one hand a requirement to study options on the minimization of impact on the environment, on the other hand it also offers unique opportunities to learn about changes of society’s lifestyle and also to develop early warning systems.

Intelligent Network Operations (Jörg Rieckermann, Joao Leitao, Andreas Scheidegger, Frank Blumensaat) aims at (i) developing methods to obtain better data on key variables and states of our wastewater systems, such as rainfall, flows and pollutant discharges to receiving waters, (ii) provide better models to assess water and pollutant fluxes as well as urban flood risk and aging of our infrastructure.

Urban Water Observatory (Max Maurer, Frank Blumensaat, Andreas Scheidegger) is a test-bed where modern measurement equipment provides us with a detailed picture about the processes in a urban water catchment.

Projects Systems Engineering

Goal is an improved planning procedure for sustainable water supply and wastewater infrastructure management that links into the existing Swiss governance structures.
An inter- and transdisciplinary strategic research program that strives to develop novel non-gridconnected water and sani- tation systems that can function as comparable alternatives to network-based systems.
The population has a high willingness to pay for reducing risks of wastewater flooding or combined sewer overflows
How can the overall performance of distributed treatment systems be estimated and maintained?
Network condition simulator for benchmarking sewer deterioration models
The aim of this project is to gain more insight about sustainable infrastructure management and to develop tools and methods for complex decision making for infrastructure planning.
The aim is to develop systematic methods for the generation of locally appropriate sanitation system options and for the quantification of sustainability performance indicators
Managing Uncertainty in the Design of Urban Water Infrastructure
Project aim is participative decision support for the long-term transition to innovative wastewater infrastructures.
We aim at facilitating the use of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis in urban water management practice.
We are identifying the challenges of modular infrastructure systems for the Swiss economy and society using the example of urban water management.
Decentralisation changes wastewater quantity and quality that is discharged to the sewer. We investigate the effects of these changes on the operation of existing centralised sewer systems.
We quantify the physical disintegration of faeces in sewers - a stochastic detrition model is developed and calibrated by flow reactor experiments using PIV and image analysis backlight illumination
The ‘Transitions Pathways Generator’ (TPG) model aims at the systematic generation of transition pathways describing technical adaptations of the urban drainage infrastructure.

Projects Source typing and tracking

Quantifying micropollutant loads in combined and separate sewer overflows
Estimating public health factors at the community level
Mapping environmental variables in sewers
Advancing estimation of illicit drug use from wastewater samples - the role of in-sewer drug transformation.
High resolution mass spectrometry in the field
Input of plant protection products into surface waters in rural landscapes: What is the relevance of hydraulic shortcuts ?

Projects Intelligent Network Operations

Commercial Microwave links for Urban Rainfall Monitoring (CoMMon)
Kanalnetzbewirtschaftung für besseren Gewässerschutz
Assessing influence of model structure deficiencies & input errors on the uncertainty of model prediction
Hexagonal Grids for urban flood modelling
Cost Effective Neural Technique to Alleviate Urban flood Risk
Software tools for hexagonal grids
Urban flood experiments and alternative data acquisition methods
Is your computer model too slow? Use emulators to speed it up!
Alternative data collection and assimilation methods for urban flood modelling
What are the biggest obstacles to a better surface water protection during wet-weather?

Projects Urban Water Observatory

The Urban Water Observatory (UWO) is a long-term (5-year) initiative of ETH and Eawag to establish a sensor network in Fehraltorf...