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

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022The smallest of all plastic particles have remained largely unexplored until now, because they could not be detected in the environment. Now researchers at Eawag show: Nanoplastics stick to slimy biofilms, which can for example be found on stones in streams or rivers. When freshwater snails feed on the slime, the nanoplastics are taken up.

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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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Scientific publications

Stravs, M. A.; Dührkop, K.; Böcker, S.; Zamboni, N. (2022) MSNovelist: de novo structure generation from mass spectra, Nature Methods, 19, 865-870, doi:10.1038/s41592-022-01486-3, Institutional Repository
Bundschuh, J.; Niazi, N. K.; Alam, M. A.; Berg, M.; Herath, I.; Tomaszewska, B.; Maity, J. P.; Ok, Y. S. (2022) Global arsenic dilemma and sustainability, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 436, 129197 (11 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.129197, Institutional Repository
Pulido-Reyes, G.; Magherini, L.; Bianco, C.; Sethi, R.; von Gunten, U.; Kaegi, R.; Mitrano, D. M. (2022) Nanoplastics removal during drinking water treatment: laboratory- and pilot-scale experiments and modeling, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 436, 129011 (13 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.129011, Institutional Repository
Zimmermann, L.; Scheringer, M.; Geueke, B.; Boucher, J. M.; Parkinson, L. V.; Groh, K. J.; Muncke, J. (2022) Implementing the EU chemicals strategy for sustainability: the case of food contact chemicals of concern, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 437, 129167 (11 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.129167, Institutional Repository
To the library

Events

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
Marc Böhler
  • wastewater treatment
  • activated carbon
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
  • trace substance elimination
Dr. Carmen Casado-Martinez
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • ecotoxicology
  • sediments
Prof. 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
  • Computational methods
  • biological degradation
  • bioaccumulation
  • groundwater
  • mass spectrometry
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
  • organic pollutants
  • algae
  • biological degradation
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
  • Computational methods
  • electron microscopy
  • nanoparticles
  • microplastics
Dr. Cornelia Kienle
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • ecology
  • ecotoxicology
Dr. Judit Lienert
  • decision analysis
  • public acceptability
  • sustainable water management
  • stakeholder participation
  • transdisciplinary research
Dr. Christa McArdell
  • activated carbon
  • wastewater treatment
  • mass fluxes
  • micropollutants
  • ozonation
Dr. Christoph Ort
  • wastewater
  • wastewater-based epidemiology
  • micropollutants
  • modeling
  • monitoring
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
  • climate change
  • Lake management
Heinz Singer
  • chromatography
  • mass spectrometry
  • organic pollutants
  • surface water
Dr. Christian Stamm
  • wastewater
  • agriculture
  • water quality
Dr. Ahmed Tlili
  • algae
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • biofilms
  • micropollutants
  • nanoparticles
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
Dr. Inge Werner
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • molecular ecotoxicology
  • ecotoxicology

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