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April 25, 2019

For the first time ever, a toxicity test with cultured gill cell lines from fish has been ISO-certified. The test is used to determine the acute toxicity of water samples and chemicals to fish. This is an important milestone because there is a lack of recognised alternatives to experiments with live fish. Read more

Planktothrix rubescens in Lake Hallwil (Photo: Sabine Flury, Eawag)
March 26, 2019

Freshwater lakes are teeming with blue-green algae that produce a heady cocktail of substances. Little is known as yet about the health risks associated with these substances, although a review of the literature by Eawag scientist Elisabeth Janssen has now revealed some potentially harmful effects. Read more

Photo: Amritansuh Sikdar, Unsplash
March 22, 2019

Today's Unesco World Water Day has the theme "Leave no one behind". Many people still do not have access to safe water and sanitary facilities for various reasons. But access to clean water alone is not enough, knows behavioural psychologist Hans-Joachim Mosler of the Department of Environmental Social Sciences. Read more

To obtain more reliable estimates of illicit drug use based on wastewater analysis, Christoph Ort and Ann-Kathrin McCall are studying the stability of drug residues in sewers. The detection of these substances in wastewater is a complete task.
March 14, 2019

Consumption of cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines and methamphetamines is increasing all over Europe according to the latest findings of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). In Swiss cities, the consumption of cocaine and ecstasy certainly appear to have remained at a high level. Read more

The revolutionary interior of the "save" toilet cannot be seen from the outside. (Photo: Laufen)
March 11, 2019

It’s no secret that urine contains valuable nutrients – or that diluting them with water which is then flushed into sewers is not the most sustainable way of managing this resource. But how can urine be kept out of wastewater? Eawag has been investigating this question for many years, and one answer is to use a urine-diverting toilet to separate it “at source”. What may sound simple turned out in practice to be a tricky task, and several generations of toilets were needed to optimise the source separation technology to the point where it can be more widely deployed.  Read more

The "LéXPLORE" platform on Lake Geneva (Photo: Natacha Pasche)
February 20, 2019

As of this week, “LéXPLORE”, a 100 metre research platform, is afloat on Lake Geneva. On board are countless radiosondes and sensors which should enable researchers at Eawag, EPFL and the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva to gain a better understanding of the ecological processes at work in Lake Geneva as well as the interactions between the water and the atmosphere. Read more

Dry period at the Klöntalersee: dryness and regional water scarcity were a recurring hot topic in the media in summer 2018. (Photo: Pixabay)
February 14, 2019

A study by environmental social scientist Mario Angst shows that reports in the media do not always reflect the issues that most concern organisations, public sector agencies, cantons and communities on a day-to-day basis.  Read more

The research station on the Jungfraujoch, where researchers collected rainwater every week for two years. (Image: flickr)
February 11, 2019

Selenium is a difficult mineral to research, as it has a complex chemistry and is only found in the environment in the tiniest amounts. However, scientists at Eawag and ETH Zurich have now developed new methods of chemical analysis that, when combined with atmospheric models, allow assumptions to be made for the first time on the origins of selenium. Read more

A restored reach of the Emme in the Bernese Oberland (Photo: Markus Bolliger, Shutterstock)
February 8, 2019

In the coming decades, many rivers in Switzerland are to be restored to a natural state. To identify those river reaches where restoration would be ecologically most valuable, Eawag scientists have developed a new assessment procedure. Read more