Department Urban Water Management


(Drogen, Medikamente, Alkohol- und Tabackrückstände: Abwasserbasierte Epidemiologie in der Schweiz)

In the DroMedArio project, we analyze substances of abuse and their metabolites in wastewater as independent indicators for community-wide consumption.

Composite samples from ten Swiss wastewater treatment plants are collected in a thirteen-day interval over a period of four years (2021-2024). Together, the participating plants treat sewage of almost 2 million people which corresponds to approximately 23% of the Swiss population. Some of the treatment plants have already participated in the SCORE (Sewage Analysis CORe group Europe)/EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) wastewater-based monitoring program for illicit drugs in previous years (figure).

The collected wastewater samples are analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry which allows quantitative measurement of target analytes and qualitative screening for suspect chemicals. In the project, wastewater markers for illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals with abuse potential, alcohol and tobacco are quantified.

The monitoring of these markers in wastewater allows estimation of temporal trends and spatial differences in consumption.


Stephan Baumgartner Doctoral Student Tel. +41 58 765 6664 Send Mail

Project Lead


Heinz Singer Senior scientist / group leader Tel. +41 58 765 5577 Send Mail

Project duration:

Jan. 2021- Dez. 2024