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.


September 16, 2021

It is well known that Legionella bacteria can contaminate drinking water systems in buildings. A case study published in Aqua & Gas by Eawag and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts now shows how they can be controlled by different temperature strategies.

Read more
September 15, 2021

Making decisions about what sanitation infrastructure to implement in emergency and humanitarian crises is challenging. Research on how to support this decision-making has led to the online platform: emersan-compendium.org.

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