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.


January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023Switzerland's groundwater is home to a multitude of hitherto unknown organisms. An Eawag research project is shining a light into the darkness and revealing this habitat’s exceptional biodiversity.

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January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023Environmental DNA analysis of microbial communities can help us understand how a particular region’s water cycle works. Oliver Schilling, Professor at Eawag and the University of Basel, recently used this method to examine the water cycle on Mount Fuji. His results have implications for Switzerland as well.

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Scientific publications

Montealegre, M. C.; Greenwood, E. E.; Teichmann, L.; Nadimpalli, M. L.; Caduff, L.; Swarthout, J. M.; Nydegger, T.; Sultana, S.; Islam, M. A.; Lanza, V. F.; Luby, S. P.; Pickering, A. J.; Julian, T. R. (2022) Drinking water chlorination impact on fecal carriage of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Bangladeshi children in a double-blind, cluster-randomized controlled trial, Environmental Health Perspectives, 130(11), 117702 (3 pp.), doi:10.1289/EHP11359, Institutional Repository
Berghuijs, W. R.; Luijendijk, E.; Moeck, C.; van der Velde, Y.; Allen, S. T. (2022) Global recharge data set indicates strengthened groundwater connection to surface fluxes, Geophysical Research Letters, 49(23), e2022GL099010 (9 pp.), doi:10.1029/2022GL099010, Institutional Repository
Barcala, V.; Jansen, S.; Gerritse, J.; Mangold, S.; Voegelin, A.; Behrends, T. (2022) Phosphorus adsorption on iron‐coated sand under reducing conditions, Journal of Environmental Quality, 52(1), 74-87, doi:10.1002/jeq2.20432, 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


Dr. Christian Binz
  • decentralized systems
  • innovation
  • global change
  • sustainable transitions
  • urban water management
Dr. Frederik Hammes
  • biofilms
  • Flow cytometry
  • Legionella
  • Microbiology
  • sensors
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)