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If large amounts of organic carbon compounds are leached from plastic pipes into water, strong bacterial growth occurs even with regular flushing. (Photo: Vario Images)
October 23, 2017

Although bacteria are an inevitable – and important – component of drinking water, the colonization of pipes by pathogenic organisms can lead to microbiological quality problems. However, according to an Eawag/HSLU project co-funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), various measures can be taken to minimise this risk.  Read more

Resistant bacteria can grow in an antibiotic-treated culture medium. (Photo: Helmut Bürgmann, Eawag)
October 18, 2017

Compared to other foodstuffs, Switzerland’s drinking water shows low levels of contamination with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or resistance genes. This was demonstrated in a study of eight drinking water systems carried out by Eawag researchers on behalf of the Swiss Gas and Water Industry Association (SVGW) and water suppliers. Read more

Pond snails are affected by temperature stress and exposure to micropollutants. (Photo: Marko Koenig, Imagebroker, Okapia)
October 16, 2017

In a laboratory experiment, Eawag ecologists studied how the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is affected by heatwaves, which are expected to become more frequent as a result of climate change. Snails exposed to temperature stress showed a greater investment in reproduction, egg production increasing by 60 per cent on average.  Read more

Many years after pesticides are applied, residues can still be detected in soils. (Photo: Markus Bolliger, FOEN)
October 12, 2017

According to a study funded by the Federal Office for the Environment, pesticides or transformation products can persist in soils for a decade or more. In the study, Eawag and Agroscope scientists analysed topsoil samples collected from 14 agricultural sites between 1995 and 2008 as part of the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network programme.  Read more

Sampling at the Werdhölzli treatment plant in Zurich. (Photo: Eawag, Elke Suess)
October 10, 2017

A study just published by Eawag scientists shows that gold and silver each amounting to around CHF 1.5 million a year are lost via effluents and sludge from wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland. The concentrations measured do not pose risks to the environment – and recycling would not be economically worthwhile. However, the study also produced surprising findings on other trace elements in wastewater, including rare earth metals such as gadolinium and the heavy metal niobium. Read more

The network of Swiss water forums, which frequently take the form of working groups or subcommittees within larger associations. (Graphic: Fischer et al.)
October 9, 2017

A study by Eawag environmental social scientists has identified a total of 23 forums in Switzerland concerned with water-related issues, such as the Swiss Water Management Association (SWV), Water Agenda 21, the Swiss Water Association (VSA) and the Swiss Gas and Water Industry Association (SVGW).  Read more

Collection of water samples from Lake Cadagno (canton of Ticino, 1920 m asl). (Photo: Eawag, Helmut Bürgmann)
October 5, 2017

Single-celled bacteria are capable of mixing water layers in lakes – not directly, by movement of their flagella, but by accumulating locally and thus increasing water density. The heavier water then sinks, creating circular currents. Researchers have now observed this process for the first time not just in the laboratory, but in a natural water body – Lake Cadagno (canton of Ticino). Read more

Jörg Rieckermann awarded with “Mid-term Career Achievement Award” (Photo: ICUD 2017)
October 4, 2017

Jörg Rieckermann, group leader within Eawag’s Urban Water Management department, was awarded with the “Mid-term Career Achievement Award” during this year’s International Conference on Urban Drainage (ICUD) in Prague. Every three years, the Joint Committee on Urban Drainage (JCUD) recognizes outstanding achievements of professionals in the field of urban drainage by bestowing this career achievement award. Read more

Fig.1: Scientists use electro-fishing to catch trout for their experiments. Photo: Petra Nobs, Eawag
October 3, 2017

Trout that live in stable ecosystems divide the prey spectrum among themselves and develop into specialists. In streams with instable food supply, however, the trout become generalists. Sticklebacks from different evolutionary lineages alter their environment by their feeding habits. This is deleterious to their descendants except they are hybrids. Understanding the interaction between species and environment is important for the effective protection of biodiversity.  Read more

Gabriele Mayer (Photo: Raoul Schaffner, Eawag)
October 2, 2017

At a meeting held on 28 September, the ETH Board elected Gabriele Mayer, Head of the Finance and Personnel Departments, as the latest new member of the Eawag Directorate. In this capacity, Gabriele Mayer will be representing Eawag in the areas of compliance, corporate governance and support. She takes up her new role on 1st October 2017. Read more