Drinking Water

Prevention is better than cure

Thanks to the fact that Switzerland’s surface waters have been kept clean, this maxim has to a large extent been upheld. However, the presence of new (harmful) substances allows no room for complacency on this front. Globally, there is an urgent need for cost-effective and energy-efficient water treatment solutions on various scales - all the way through to wastewater recycling.

News

September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022Around 140 participants from public administration, private engineering firms and research took advantage of the Eawag Info Day in Lausanne to learn about and exchange information on new possibilities for collecting and using water data.

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August 11, 2022

August 11, 2022As an additive in toothpaste, it protects our teeth from decay. But when fluoride occurs in nature in larger quantities and accumulates in groundwater, it can become a hazard for our health. For the first time, Eawag scientists have produced a detailed map of global fluoride contamination in groundwater and shown which regions of the world are particularly affected.

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Scientific publications

Nadimpalli, M. L.; Lanza, V. F.; Montealegre, M. C.; Sultana, S.; Fuhrmeister, E. R.; Worby, C. J.; Teichmann, L.; Caduff, L.; Swarthout, J. M.; Crider, Y. S.; Earl, A. M.; Brown, J.; Luby, S. P.; Islam, M. A.; Julian, T. R.; Pickering, A. J. (2022) Drinking water chlorination has minor effects on the intestinal flora and resistomes of Bangladeshi children, Nature Microbiology, 7(5), 620-629, doi:10.1038/s41564-022-01101-3, Institutional Repository
MacKeown, H.; von Gunten, U.; Criquet, J. (2022) Iodide sources in the aquatic environment and its fate during oxidative water treatment - a critical review, Water Research, 217, 118417 (21 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118417, Institutional Repository
Rougé, V.; Lee, Y.; von Gunten, U.; Allard, S. (2022) Kinetic and mechanistic understanding of chlorite oxidation during chlorination: optimization of ClO2 pre-oxidation for disinfection byproduct control, Water Research, 220, 118515 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118515, Institutional Repository
Van Le, A.; Straub, D.; Planer-Friedrich, B.; Hug, S. J.; Kleindienst, S.; Kappler, A. (2022) Microbial communities contribute to the elimination of As, Fe, Mn, and NH4+ from groundwater in household sand filters, Science of the Total Environment, 838, 156496 (9 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156496, Institutional Repository
To the library

Selected research projects and programs

Inhalation of legionella bacteria – which thrive in warm water – can cause illness: in a new project, an Eawag-led multidisciplinary research team is investigating how the risks associated with these bacteria can best be managed.
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.
This project facilitates the exchange of data, maps and information on geogenic contaminants (focussing on arsenic and fluoride) via the web-based Groundwater Assessment Platform (GAP)
Sustainable urban water and wastewater management applied and implemented in the modular NEST building.

Regionale Wasserversorgung Basel-Landschaft 21

SWP assesses recontamination risks in treated water and evaluates strategies to prevent it: safe storage options, UV-C disinfection in storage containers and passive system-level chlorination.
With Helvetas-Nepal, this project aims to establish a drinking water security strategy in rural communities

Experts

Dr. Christian Binz
  • decentralized systems
  • innovation
  • global change
  • sustainable transitions
  • urban water management
Dr. Frederik Hammes
  • biofilms
  • Flow cytometry
  • Legionella
  • Microbiology
  • sensors
Prof. Dr. Janet Hering
  • biogeochemistry
  • sustainable water management
  • water treatment
  • water quality
Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender
  • Computational methods
  • biological degradation
  • bioaccumulation
  • groundwater
  • mass spectrometry
Dr. Stephan Hug
  • arsenic
  • solid-water interfaces
  • groundwater
  • spectroscopic methods
Dr. Tim Julian
  • microbes
  • urban sanitation
Prof. Dr. Rolf Kipfer
  • noble gases
  • isotopes
Prof. Dr. Mario Schirmer
  • groundwater
  • hydrogeology
  • modeling
  • surface water
Dr. Andreas Voegelin
  • wastewater
  • arsenic
  • solid-water interfaces
  • geogenic contaminants
  • nanoparticles
  • spectroscopic methods
  • water treatment
Prof. Dr. Urs Von Gunten
  • advanced oxidation processes
  • ozonation
  • drinking water
  • water treatment
Prof. Dr. Lenny Winkel
  • inorganic contaminants
  • arsenic
  • groundwater
  • organic pollutants
  • sediments
  • selenium

Cover picture: Well shaft of a horizontal filter well of Zurich Water Supply in Hardhof. (Photo: Urs von Gunten)