Department Urban Water Management


The Urban Water Management department projects align with three research themes, enriched by Living Labs:

Systems Transformation  (Tove Larsen, Max Maurer, João Leitão, Lauren Cook) combines approaches and engineering options to transform today’s urban water infrastructure into multifunctional, sustainable systems.

Source Typing and Tracking (Christoph Ort, Jörg Rieckermann) identifies pollutant and pathogen origins and evaluates their fate within wastewater systems (e.g. combined sewer overflows and wastewater-based epidemiology).

Intelligent Network Operations (Jörg Rieckermann, João Leitão) aims to improve operation of wastewater systems through innovative models and measurement techniques to assess pollutant fluxes and urban flood risk.

Urban Living Labs (Max Maurer) are real-world example sites where we test innovative technologies and collect data to advance the three research areas and facilitate transfer into practice.

Systems Transformation

How to design blue-green infrastructure to enhance urban biodiversity?
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.
Managing Uncertainty in the Design of Urban Water Infrastructure
Urban Blue-Green Infrastructures for Biodiversity
Project aim is participative decision support for the long-term transition to innovative wastewater infrastructures.
The ‘Transitions Pathways Generator’ (TPG) model aims at the systematic generation of transition pathways describing technical adaptations of the urban drainage infrastructure.
Improving the environmental benefits of green roofs through system focused experiments and modeling
We are identifying the challenges of modular infrastructure systems for the Swiss economy and society using the example of urban water management.
Integrated, engineering design and decision support strategies for BGI at the neighborhood scale to address stormwater management, heat mitigation, and biodiversity enhancement in a current and future climate.
Future synthetic rainfall time series for Switzerland in high spatial and temporal resolution

Source Typing and Tracking

Measuring micropollutants in combined sewer overflows with mobile HRMS
Application of Wastewater-based Epidemiology to SARS-CoV-2 Detection
Mapping environmental variables in sewers
Input of plant protection products into surface waters in rural landscapes: What is the relevance of hydraulic shortcuts ?
Estimating public health factors at the community level
High resolution mass spectrometry in the field

Intelligent Network Operations

Hexagonal Grids for urban flood modelling
Smart monitoring, data sharing and offering transnational access to lab and field facilities to the European Urban Drainage community.
We automate tedious evaluations with big-data methods and create the basis for faster and better decisions
What are the biggest obstacles to a better surface water protection during wet-weather?
Software tools for hexagonal grids
Approach to sedimentation in sewer and urban drainage systems based on temperature measurements

Urban Living Labs

The Urban Water Observatory (UWO) is a long-term (5-year) initiative of ETH and Eawag to establish a sensor network in Fehraltorf...
Development of self-powered sensored pipes for smart management of water distribution systems
Harvesting Stormwater for Cooling Urban Areas
monitor the impact of urbanization and prepare for an urban living lab

Completed projects

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.
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
We aim at facilitating the use of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis in urban water management practice.
Development of systematic but generic methods for the generation of locally appropriate sanitation system options and for the quantification of sustainability performance indicators.
Goal is an improved planning procedure for sustainable water supply and wastewater infrastructure management that links into the existing Swiss governance structures.
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?
Quantifying micropollutant loads in combined and separate sewer overflows
Advancing estimation of illicit drug use from wastewater samples - the role of in-sewer drug transformation.
High resolution mass spectrometry in the field
Kanalnetzbewirtschaftung für besseren Gewässerschutz
Alternative data collection and assimilation methods for urban flood modelling
Urban flood experiments and alternative data acquisition methods
Cost Effective Neural Technique to Alleviate Urban flood Risk
Commercial Microwave links for Urban Rainfall Monitoring (CoMMon)
Assessing influence of model structure deficiencies & input errors on the uncertainty of model prediction
Is your computer model too slow? Use emulators to speed it up!
In-Sewer LPWAN - A new LoRa-based synchronous mesh network to help monitoring in-sewer processes