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.


June 11, 2021

In the Water Hub, our scientists are researching sustainable and decentralised wastewater treatment. Here, wastewater is not regarded as waste, but as a resource. Now the research platform in NEST can be visited virtually at any time.

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June 9, 2021

With the latest analytical methods, potentially toxic substances can be detected even at very low concentrations. However, the aim of research is not merely to document such contamination but also to understand how it occurs in streams and groundwater, and to propose mitigation measures.

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9.00 am
Swiss Tech Convention Center Lausanne

Scientific publications

Kiefer, K.; Du, L.; Singer, H.; Hollender, J. (2021) Identification of LC-HRMS nontarget signals in groundwater after source related prioritization, Water Research, 196, 116994 (12 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.116994, Institutional Repository
Wünsch, R.; Mayer, C.; Plattner, J.; Eugster, F.; Wülser, R.; Gebhardt, J.; Hübner, U.; Canonica, S.; Wintgens, T.; von Gunten, U. (2021) Micropollutants as internal probe compounds to assess UV fluence and hydroxyl radical exposure in UV/H2O2 treatment, Water Research, 195, 116940 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.116940, Institutional Repository
Marron, E. L.; Van Buren, J.; Cuthbertson, A. A.; Darby, E.; von Gunten, U.; Sedlak, D. L. (2021) Reactions of α,β-unsaturated carbonyls with free chlorine, free bromine, and combined chlorine, Environmental Science and Technology, 55(5), 3305-3312, doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c07660, Institutional Repository
Song, Y.; Pruden, A.; Edwards, M. A.; Rhoads, W. J. (2021) Natural organic matter, orthophosphate, pH, and growth phase can limit copper antimicrobial efficacy for Legionella in drinking Water, Environmental Science and Technology, 55(3), 1759-1768, doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c06804, Institutional Repository
Tang, X.; Pronk, W.; Traber, J.; Liang, H.; Li, G.; Morgenroth, E. (2021) Integrating granular activated carbon (GAC) to gravity-driven membrane (GDM) to improve its flux stabilization: respective roles of adsorption and biodegradation by GAC, Science of the Total Environment, 768, 144758 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144758, 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