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.


November 26, 2021

In the latest episode of the Papers to Practice Podcast, Dorothee Spuhler talks with Charles Niwagaba about his published article on the microbe-associated health risks involved in using faecal sludge in Ugandan agriculture. This is the second part of the podcast series, which she started with Laura Kohler.

Read more
November 17, 2021

The separation toilet save! has won the Design Award Switzerland 2021. This is also a milestone for Tove Larsen. She is a member of the Eawag Directorate and has been researching for almost 30 years how the nutrients in wastewater can be recovered in a useful way. In this interview on the occasion of World Toilet Day 2021, she explains how crucial our handling of wastewater is for climate change and for achieving the SDGs sustainability goals.

Read more

Scientific publications

Stopelli, E.; Duyen, V. T.; Prommer, H.; Glodowska, M.; Kappler, A.; Schneider, M.; Eiche, E.; Lightfoot, A. K.; Schubert, C. J.; Trang, P. K. T.; Viet, P. H.; Kipfer, R.; Winkel, L. H. E.; Berg, M. (2021) Carbon and methane cycling in arsenic-contaminated aquifers, Water Research, 200, 117300 (8 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.117300, Institutional Repository
Tentscher, P. R.; Escher, B. I.; Schlichting, R.; König, M.; Bramaz, N.; Schirmer, K.; von Gunten, U. (2021) Toxic effects of substituted p-benzoquinones and hydroquinones in in vitro bioassays are altered by reactions with the cell assay medium, Water Research, 202, 117415 (12 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.117415, Institutional Repository
Pieper, K. J.; Jones, C. N.; Rhoads, W. J.; Rome, M.N.; Gholson, D. M.; Katner, A.; Boellstorff, D. E.; Beighley, R. E. (2021) Microbial contamination of drinking water supplied by private wells after hurricane harvey, Environmental Science and Technology, 55(12), 8382-8392, doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c07869, Institutional Repository
Schulze, B.; van Herwerden, D.; Allan, I.; Bijlsma, L.; Etxebarria, N.; Hansen, M.; Merel, S.; Vrana, B.; Aalizadeh, R.; Bajema, B.; Dubocq, F.; Coppola, G.; Fildier, A.; Fialová, P.; Frøkjær, E.; Grabic, R.; Gago-Ferrero, P.; Gravert, T.; Hollender, J.; Huynh, N.; Jacobs, G.; Jonkers, T.; Kaserzon, S.; Lamoree, M.; Le Roux, J.; Mairinger, T.; Margoum, C.; Mascolo, G.; Mebold, E.; Menger, F.; Miège, C.; Meijer, J.; Moilleron, R.; Murgolo, S.; Peruzzo, M.; Pijnappels, M.; Reid, M.; Roscioli, C.; Soulier, C.; Valsecchi, S.; Thomaidis, N.; Vulliet, E.; Young, R.; Samanipour, S. (2021) Inter-laboratory mass spectrometry dataset based on passive sampling of drinking water for non-target analysis, Scientific Data, 8, 223 (10 pp.), doi:10.1038/s41597-021-01002-w, 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.
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


Dr. Christian Binz
  • decentralized systems
  • innovation
  • global change
  • sustainable transitions
  • urban water management
Dr. Silvio Canonica
  • photochemistry
  • drinking water
  • water treatment
Dr. Frederik Hammes
  • drinking water
  • water treatment
  • sensors
  • Flow cytometry
  • Biological filtration
Prof. Dr. Janet Hering
  • biogeochemistry
  • sustainable water management
  • water treatment
  • water quality
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