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

September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022Around 140 participants from public administration, private engineering firms and research took advantage of the Eawag Info Day in Lausanne to learn about and exchange information on new possibilities for collecting and using water data.

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August 4, 2022

August 4, 202225 years ago, urine-diverting toilets were no more than an idea, challenging the central paradigm of wastewater treatment plants. Since then, however, modular water technologies have become increasingly important. Using a new method, scientists at Eawag have mapped the dynamics of this transition.

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Scientific publications

Desiante, W. L.; Carles, L.; Wullschleger, S.; Joss, A.; Stamm, C.; Fenner, K. (2022) Wastewater microorganisms impact the micropollutant biotransformation potential of natural stream biofilms, Water Research, 217, 118413 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118413, Institutional Repository
Fu, Q.; Meyer, C.; Patrick, M.; Kosfeld, V.; Rüdel, H.; Koschorreck, J.; Hollender, J. (2022) Comprehensive screening of polar emerging organic contaminants including PFASs and evaluation of the trophic transfer behavior in a freshwater food web, Water Research, 218, 118514 (12 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118514, Institutional Repository
Grote, M.; Boudenne, J.-L.; Croué, J.-P.; Escher, B. I.; von Gunten, U.; Hahn, J.; Höfer, T.; Jenner, H.; Jiang, J.; Karanfil, T.; Khalanski, M.; Kim, D.; Linders, J.; Manasfi, T.; Polman, H.; Quack, B.; Tegtmeier, S.; Werschkun, B.; Zhang, X.; Ziegler, G. (2022) Inputs of disinfection by-products to the marine environment from various industrial activities: comparison to natural production, Water Research, 217, 118383 (9 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118383, Institutional Repository
Huisman, J. S.; Scire, J.; Caduff, L.; Fernandez-Cassi, X.; Ganesanandamoorthy, P.; Kull, A.; Scheidegger, A.; Stachler, E.; Boehm, A. B.; Hughes, B.; Knudson, A.; Topol, A.; Wigginton, K. R.; Wolfe, M. K.; Kohn, T.; Ort, C.; Stadler, T.; Julian, T. R. (2022) Wastewater-based estimation of the effective reproductive number of SARS-CoV-2, Environmental Health Perspectives, 130(5), 057011 (12 pp.), doi:10.1289/EHP10050, 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
  • activated carbon
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
  • trace substance elimination
Dr. Helmut Bürgmann
  • antibiotic resistance
  • bacterioplankton
  • Microbiology
  • nutrients
  • surface water
Dr. Nicolas Derlon
  • wastewater
  • wastewater treatment
  • wastewater treatment plant
Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender
  • Computational methods
  • biological degradation
  • bioaccumulation
  • groundwater
  • mass spectrometry
Dr. Adriano Joss
  • wastewater
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Prof. Dr. Tove Larsen
  • NoMix
  • urine separation
Dr. Joao Paulo Leitao
  • GIS
  • urban planning
  • modeling
  • Risk assessment
  • urban water management
Dr. Judit Lienert
  • decision analysis
  • public acceptability
  • sustainable water management
  • stakeholder participation
  • transdisciplinary research
Prof. Dr. Max Maurer
  • wastewater
  • decentralized technologies
  • sustainable water management
  • urban sanitation
  • urban water management
  • urine separation
Dr. Christa McArdell
  • activated carbon
  • wastewater treatment
  • mass fluxes
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Prof. Dr. Eberhard Morgenroth
  • wastewater
  • decentralized technologies
  • nutrients
  • urban water management
  • urban planning
  • urine separation
Dr. Christoph Ort
  • wastewater
  • wastewater-based epidemiology
  • micropollutants
  • modeling
  • monitoring
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)