Wastewater

Optimise and overcome new challenges

The wastewater infrastructure in Switzerland is worth 125 billion Swiss francs. Nine hundred treatment plants clean the country’s wastewater around the clock. Part of the work of Eawag is to examine how this success story can be continuously optimised and tailored to suit the particular conditions in other countries, as well as to look at how to overcome new challenges

News

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022Eawag researchers Sabine Hoffmann, Kai Udert and Lisa Deutsch are committed to a sanitation and nutrient transformation. They use an example to explain why a transformation is needed and why collaboration with politicians in particular is a challenge.

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May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022What has been a purification process in wastewater treatment plants for decades can also be used decentrally or semi-centrally as a recycling process for nutrients. Early separation of "solid and liquid" plays a key role here. It allows for flexible solutions in terms of process technology, especially in the treatment of urine. New studies also show that the processes can be used not only for human urine, but also for that of cows or pigs.

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Scientific publications

Freudenthal, J.; Ju, F.; Bürgmann, H.; Dumack, K. (2022) Microeukaryotic gut parasites in wastewater treatment plants: diversity, activity, and removal, Microbiome, 10, 27 (12 pp.), doi:10.1186/s40168-022-01225-y, Institutional Repository
Gionchetta, G.; Fillol, M.; López, N.; Kassotaki, E.; Sànchez-Melsió, A.; Gutiérrez, C.; Gutiérrez, O.; Balcázar, J. L.; Borrego, C. M. (2022) Impact of nitrate addition on the resistome and mobilome from a full-scale sewer, Chemical Engineering Journal, 439, 135653, doi:10.1016/j.cej.2022.135653, Institutional Repository
Duque, N.; Bach, P. M.; Scholten, L.; Fappiano, F.; Maurer, M. (2022) A simplified sanitary sewer system generator for exploratory modelling at city-scale, Water Research, 209, 117903 (12 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.117903, Institutional Repository
Kienle, C.; Werner, I.; Fischer, S.; Lüthi, C.; Schifferli, A.; Besselink, H.; Langer, M.; McArdell, C. S.; Vermeirssen, E. L. M. (2022) Evaluation of a full-scale wastewater treatment plant with ozonation and different post-treatments using a broad range of in vitro and in vivo bioassays, Water Research, 212, 118084 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118084, Institutional Repository
To the library

Selected research projects and focus areas

Application of Wastewater-based Epidemiology to SARS-CoV-2 Detection
Communities across the world face water supply challenges due to increasing demand, drought, groundwater depletion and contamination, dependence on single sources of supply, and ageing infrastructure
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.
Eawag has a long history of developing innovative processes for separating wastewater at source. These technologies include one whereby urine is separated out using the NoMix Toilet.
We study the ecological stability of anammox biofilms, which are responsible for the autotrophic Nitrogen removal in mixed nitritation-anammox systems.
Sustainable urban water and wastewater management applied and implemented in the modular NEST building.
Greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment
By recovering nutrients from urine, we develop a sanitation system, which produces a valuable fertiliser
Solid-Liquid Separation of Faecal Sludge: Understanding Governing Mechanisms for Improved Global Sanitation
The aim of CWIS research is to develop a method that synthesizes existing information about the sanitation landscapes of cities in India and that presents comprehensive sanitation solutions.

Experts

Dr. Christian Binz
  • decentralized systems
  • innovation
  • global change
  • sustainable transitions
  • urban water management
Marc Böhler
  • wastewater treatment
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Dr. Nicolas Derlon
  • wastewater
  • wastewater treatment
  • wastewater treatment plant
Dr. Adriano Joss
  • wastewater
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Prof. Dr. Tove Larsen
  • NoMix
  • urine separation
Dr. Joao Paulo Leitao
  • urban water management
  • urban planning
Prof. Dr. Max Maurer
  • wastewater
  • decentralized technologies
  • sustainable water management
  • urban sanitation
  • urban water management
  • urine separation
Dr. Christa McArdell
  • wastewater
  • micropollutants
Prof. Dr. Eberhard Morgenroth
  • wastewater
  • decentralized technologies
  • nutrients
  • urban water management
  • urban planning
  • urine separation
Dr. Christoph Ort
  • wastewater
  • modeling
Dr. Jörg Rieckermann
  • wastewater
  • modeling
  • urban water management
  • transdisciplinary research
Prof. Dr. Kai Udert
  • wastewater separation
  • decentralized technologies
  • nutrients
  • urine separation
  • resource recovery

Cover picture: At the Zurich Werdhölzli plant, Eawag researchers Christoph Ort, Pravin Ganesanandamoorthy und Anina Kull collect samples  which will be tested in the laboratory for SARS-CoV-2. (Photo: Esther Michel)