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.


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July 17, 2018

Black plastic balls, which aim to reduce evaporation losses from open-air reservoirs under drought conditions, are not quite as efficient as previously assumed. Considerable quantities of water are already used in their production.  Read more

June 20, 2018

Antibiotic resistance is widespread in bacteria spores and preserved for years, as shown by experiments at Eawag and the University of Neuchâtel. Read more

Scientific publications

Nescerecka, A.; Juhna, T.; Hammes, F. (2018) Identifying the underlying causes of biological instability in a full-scale drinking water supply system, Water Research, 135, 11-21, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2018.02.006, Institutional Repository
Tentscher, P. R.; Bourgin, M.; von Gunten, U. (2018) Ozonation of Para-substituted phenolic compounds yields p‑benzoquinones, other cyclic α,β-unsaturated ketones, and substituted catechols, Environmental Science and Technology, 52(8), 4763-4773, doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b00011, Institutional Repository
Neu, L.; Bänziger, C.; Proctor, C. R.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, W.-T.; Hammes, F. (2018) Ugly ducklings - the dark side of plastic materials in contact with potable water, npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, 4(1), 7 (11 pp.), doi:10.1038/s41522-018-0050-9, Institutional Repository
To the library
Lanz, K.; Rahn, E.; Siber, R.; Stamm, C. (2014) Bewirtschaftung der Wasserressourcen unter steigendem Nutzungsdruck, 84 p, Institutional Repository
Hoffmann, S.; Hunkeler, D.; Maurer, M. (2014) Nachhaltige Wasserversorgung und Abwasserentsorgung in der Schweiz. Herausforderungen und Handlungsoptionen. Thematische Synthese 3 im Rahmen des Nationalen Forschungsprogramms NFP 61 «Nachhaltige Wassernutzung», 83 p, Institutional Repository

Selected research projects and programs

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.


Prof. Dr. Janet Hering
  • biogeochemistry
  • sustainable water management
  • water treatment
  • water quality
Dr. Stephan Hug
  • arsenic
  • solid-water interfaces
  • groundwater
  • spectroscopic methods
Prof. Dr. Rolf Kipfer
  • noble gases
  • isotopes
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