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


November 19, 2019

It's World Toilet Day today. What may sound curious is intended to draw attention to a serious problem. Because worldwide, one in three people lack access to appropriate sanitation. In the Blue Diversion Autarky project, researchers are developing an off-grid toilet, with on-site treatment allowing valuable resources to be recovered.

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October 30, 2019

What developments do urban water researchers and professionals see as important – or worthy of scepticism? A pioneering horizon scan conducted by Eawag scientists indicates that, for this community, digitalisation is a particular concern – in a positive and negative sense. In this interview, Frank Blumensaat, an environmental engineer at ETH Zurich and Eawag, discusses the opportunities and risks it creates in the urban water field.

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Scientific publications

Mitrano, D. M.; Beltzung, A.; Frehland, S.; Schmiedgruber, M.; Cingolani, A.; Schmidt, F. (2019) Synthesis of metal-doped nanoplastics and their utility to investigate fate and behaviour in complex environmental systems, Nature Nanotechnology, 14, 362-368, doi:10.1038/s41565-018-0360-3, Institutional Repository
Thürlimann, C. M.; Udert, K. M.; Morgenroth, E.; Villez, K. (2019) Stabilizing control of a urine nitrification process in the presence of sensor drift, Water Research, 165, 114958 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2019.114958, Institutional Repository
Schneider, M. Y.; Carbajal, J. P.; Furrer, V.; Sterkele, B.; Maurer, M.; Villez, K. (2019) Beyond signal quality: the value of unmaintained pH, dissolved oxygen, and oxidation-reduction potential sensors for remote performance monitoring of on-site sequencing batch reactors, Water Research, 161, 639-651, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2019.06.007, Institutional Repository
Mechelke, J.; Vermeirssen, E. L. M.; Hollender, J. (2019) Passive sampling of organic contaminants across the water-sediment interface of an urban stream, Water Research, 165, 114966 (11 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2019.114966, Institutional Repository
Laureni, M.; Weissbrodt, D. G.; Villez, K.; Robin, O.; de Jonge, N.; Rosenthal, A.; Wells, G.; Lund Nielsen, J.; Morgenroth, E.; Joss, A. (2019) Biomass segregation between biofilm and flocs improves the control of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in mainstream partial nitritation and anammox processes, Water Research, 154, 104-116, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2018.12.051, Institutional Repository
To the library
Böhler, M. (2019) Laborversuche zur Bestimmung der Reinigungsleistung von Pulveraktivkohle zur Entfernung von Mikroverunreinigungen auf Kläranlagen. Anleitung, 29 p, Institutional Repository

Selected research projects and focus areas

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.
The National Research Programme "Sustainable Water Management" (NRP 61) developed scientific foundations and methods for sustainable management of Switzerland's water resources.
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.