Pollutants

Ways to reduce pollution

Thousands of chemical substances end up in the aquatic environment, either by direct or indirect means. Some of these chemicals – hormones for example – have an effect on aquatic organisms, with far-reaching consequences. The water treatment plants cannot remove all of the pollutants from the wastewater. Eawag researches amongst other issues how supplementary measures in water treatment plants  affect biodiversity.

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

Dai, D.; Brown, C.; Bürgmann, H.; Larsson, D. G. J.; Nambi, I.; Zhang, T.; Flach, C.-F.; Pruden, A.; Vikesland, P. J. (2022) Long-read metagenomic sequencing reveals shifts in associations of antibiotic resistance genes with mobile genetic elements from sewage to activated sludge, Microbiome, 10(1), 20 (16 pp.), doi:10.1186/s40168-021-01216-5, Institutional Repository
Anliker, S.; Santiago, S.; Fenner, K.; Singer, H. (2022) Large-scale assessment of organic contaminant emissions from chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing into Swiss surface waters, Water Research, 215, 118221 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2022.118221, Institutional Repository
Carena, L.; Vione, D.; Minella, M.; Canonica, S.; Schönenberger, U. (2022) Inhibition by phenolic antioxidants of the degradation of aromatic amines and sulfadiazine by the carbonate radical (CO3•-), Water Research, 209, 117867 (10 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.watres.2021.117867, Institutional Repository
Wu, J.; D'Ambrosi, S.; Ammann, L.; Stadnicka-Michalak, J.; Schirmer, K.; Baity-Jesi, M. (2022) Predicting chemical hazard across taxa through machine learning, Environment International, 163, 107184 (15 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.envint.2022.107184, Institutional Repository
To the library

Events

02.06.​2022,
15.09.​2022,
9.00 am
Swiss Tech Convention Center Lausanne

Eawag Info Day 2022

02.11.​2022,
9.00 am
Eawag Dübendorf

PEAK-Vertiefungskurs V55/22

Publications for practitioners

Comments on the amendment of the Water Protection Ordinance, 11-2017 [German]

Fact sheet: Frequently asked questions about road salting [available German and French]

Micro plastics in the environment
[available German and French]

Fact Sheet: on agricultural pesticides in rivers, lakes and groundwater [available German and French]

Fact Sheet: What’s the difference between monitoring values (EQS) and authorisation values (RAC)? [available German and French]

Selected research projects

In the canton of Basel-Landschaft, existing pollution situation and hazards to groundwater were determined. The model area Hardwald is characterized by strongly urban and industrially areas.
Comprehensive monitoring of organic trace substances in surface waters is time-consuming and costly. The NAWA SPEZ project delivers data and analyses on the status of water pollution.
Wastewater is a source of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We study their dissemination in the aquatic environment, and strategies to remove them.
Water Resource Quality (WRQ) was an integrated project running from 2006-2012 at Eawag that aimed to develop a generally applicable framework for the mitigation of geogenic contamination in groundwater used for drinking.
EcoImpact is an Eawag-wide interdisciplinary research effort, strongly motivated by the planned modifications of the Swiss wastewater treatment plants.
Interdisciplinary project on biological effects of urban micropollutants
Interdisciplinary project on biological effects of micropollutants on the periphyton

Experts

Dr. Michael Berg
  • inorganic contaminants
  • arsenic
  • geogenic contaminants
  • groundwater
  • surface water
  • drinking water
Dr. Carmen Casado-Martinez
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • ecotoxicology
  • sediments
Dr. Nathalie Dubois
  • chromatography
  • isotopes
  • surface water
  • sediments
  • biomarker
Prof. Dr. Rik Eggen
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • micropollutants
  • surface water
Prof. Dr. Kathrin Fenner
  • biological degradation
  • mass spectrometry
  • micropollutants
  • organic pollutants
Dr. Benoit Ferrari
  • micropollutants
  • ecotoxicology
Dr. Andreas Frömelt
  • wastewater
  • wastewater treatment
  • data science
  • machine learning
  • modeling
Dr. Ksenia Groh
  • molecular ecotoxicology
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • proteomics
  • micropollutants
  • endocrine disruptors
  • bioanalytics
PD Dr. Thomas Hofstetter
  • isotopes
  • micropollutants
Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender
  • wastewater
  • biological degradation
Dr. Céline Jacquin
  • membranes
  • decentralized systems
  • water quality
  • drinking water
  • cellular ecotoxicology
Dr. David Janssen
  • inorganic contaminants
  • chemistry
  • metals
  • nutrients
  • biogeochemistry
Dr. Elisabeth Janssen
  • photochemistry
  • proteomics
  • organic pollutants
  • natural waters
  • analytical chemistry
Dr. Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez
  • groundwater
  • hydrogeology
  • modeling
  • porous and fractured media
  • transport of contaminants
Dr. Marion Junghans
  • algae
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • micropollutants
  • ecotoxicology
Dr. Ralf Kägi
  • nanoparticles
Dr. Cornelia Kienle
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • ecology
  • ecotoxicology
Dr. Serina Robinson
  • Microbiology
  • biotransformation
  • Metagenomics
  • pharmaceuticals
  • biodegradation
Prof. Dr. Kristin Schirmer
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • micropollutants
  • molecular ecotoxicology
  • nanoparticles
  • ecotoxicology
  • cellular ecotoxicology
Dr. Martin Schmid
  • modeling
  • surface water
  • hydropower
Heinz Singer
  • surface water
  • organic pollutants
Dr. Christian Stamm
  • micropollutants
Dr. Etienne Vermeirssen
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • ecotoxicology
  • sediments
Dr. Colette vom Berg
  • fish
  • molecular ecotoxicology
Dr. Alexandra Anh-Thu Weber
  • evolution
  • genetics
  • ecology
  • Environmental change
  • comparative genomics
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Wehrli
  • river restoration
  • hydrogeology
  • surface water
  • sediments
Dr. Inge Werner
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • molecular ecotoxicology
  • ecotoxicology

Cover picture: Eawag researcher Michael Patrick investigates pyrethroid insecticides. (Photo: Alessandro della Bella)