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


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March 14, 2019

Consumption of cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines and methamphetamines is increasing all over Europe according to the latest findings of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). In Swiss cities, the consumption of cocaine and ecstasy certainly appear to have remained at a high level. Read more

March 11, 2019

It’s no secret that urine contains valuable nutrients – or that diluting them with water which is then flushed into sewers is not the most sustainable way of managing this resource. But how can urine be kept out of wastewater? Eawag has been investigating this question for many years, and one answer is to use a urine-diverting toilet to separate it “at source”. What may sound simple turned out in practice to be a tricky task, and several generations of toilets were needed to optimise the source separation technology to the point where it can be more widely deployed.  Read more

Scientific publications

Harder, R.; Wielemaker, R.; Larsen, T. A.; Zeeman, G.; Öberg, G. (2019) Recycling nutrients contained in human excreta to agriculture: pathways, processes, and products, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 1-49, doi:10.1080/10643389.2018.1558889, Institutional Repository
Penn, R.; Maurer, M.; Michalec, F.-G.; Scheidegger, A.; Zhou, J.; Holzner, M. (2019) Quantifying physical disintegration of faeces in sewers: stochastic model and flow reactor experiments, Water Research, 152, 159-170, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2018.12.037, Institutional Repository
Lindeboom, R. E. F.; Ilgrande, C.; Carvajal-Arroyo, J. M.; Coninx, I.; Van Hoey, O.; Roume, H.; Morozova, J.; Udert, K. M.; Sas, B.; Paille, C.; Lasseur, C.; Ilyin, V.; Clauwaert, P.; Leys, N.; Vlaeminck, S. E. (2018) Nitrogen cycle microorganisms can be reactivated after Space exposure, Scientific Reports, 8(1), 13783 (7 pp.), doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32055-4, Institutional Repository
Penn, R.; Schuetze, M.; Jens, A.; Friedler, E. (2018) Tracking and simulation of gross solids transport in sewers, Urban Water Journal, 15(6), 584-591, doi:10.1080/1573062X.2018.1529190, Institutional Repository
Ju, F.; Beck, K.; Yin, X.; Maccagnan, A.; McArdell, C. S.; Singer, H. P.; Johnson, D. R.; Zhang, T.; Bürgmann, H. (2019) Wastewater treatment plant resistomes are shaped by bacterial composition, genetic exchange, and upregulated expression in the effluent microbiomes, ISME Journal, 13(2), 346-360, doi:10.1038/s41396-018-0277-8, Institutional Repository
To the library
Wunderlin, P.; Joss, A.; Siegrist, H.; Abegglen, C.; Schärer, M. (2015) Verfahrenstechnik Mikroverunreinigungen. www.micropoll.ch - Wissensplattform des VSA, Aqua & Gas, 95(2), 14-19, Institutional Repository
Kaufmann, M.; Dürrenmatt, D.; Villez, K. (2015) Verstecktes Potenzial in Kläranlagendaten. Anlageoptimierung dank systematischer Datenauswertung, Aqua & Gas, 95(2), 76-81, Institutional Repository
Larsen, T. A.; Udert, K. M.; Lienert, J. (2014) Abwassertrennung und Dezentralisierung, Aqua & Gas, 94(1), 52-54, Institutional Repository
Vögeli, Y.; Lohri, C. R.; Gallardo, A.; Diener, S.; Zurbrügg, C. (2014) Anaerobic digestion of biowaste in developing countries. Practical information and case studies, 135 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.