Department Urban Water Management

Wastewater-based epidemiology

Estimating public health factors at the community level


Wastewater-based epidemiology is a  transdisciplinary research field.  In brief, a wastewater sample is collected at the influent of a wastewater treatment plant and analyzed for substances related to aspects of public health. Comparing results over time and across locations enables researchers to map trends and differences objectively. Generating meaningful results , requires expertise from numerous research fields, also urban drainage. Tasks to obtain reliable results and sound interpretation thereof encompass e.g. collecting representative samples, designing optimal monitoring schemes, estimating the number of people in a catchment, evaluating large data sets and assessing the transformation of substances in sewers.


SPG   SPG is a software assisting researchers to determine an adequate sampling setup to collect representative 24-h composite samples.

SCORE   In this Pan-European network, we collect large data sets, perform interlab exercises, identify new biomarkers to assess public health aspects through the analysis of wastewater and integrate wastewater results with existing epidemiological data.

SEWPROF  In this project we investigate transformation processes and rates of illicit drugs in sewers.

TransDrugS In this project we measure environmental variables that affect the transformation of substances in sewers at high spatiotemporal resolution.