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

March 31, 2020

Using a simple but ingenious strategy, a research team has successfully demonstrated how water quality downstream of wastewater treatment plants is influenced by a single pharmaceutical manufacturing site: as variations in the concentrations of compounds over time are dependent on production cycles, it is possible to distinguish between industrial and household emissions – even a long way downstream.

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March 24, 2020

Contaminated waste water often flows into rivers and streams after heavy rains. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria thus also enter the waters. Eawag is researching exactly which ones and in what amounts as part of a national research programme.

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Events

08.06.​2020,
9.00 am
Eawag Dübendorf
16. - 17.06.​2020,
Eawag Dübendorf

Scientific publications

Davis, C. A.; Janssen, E. M. -L. (2020) Environmental fate processes of antimicrobial peptides daptomycin, bacitracins, and polymyxins, Environment International, 134, 105271 (9 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.envint.2019.105271, Institutional Repository
Achermann, S.; Mansfeldt, C. B.; Müller, M.; Johnson, D. R.; Fenner, K. (2020) Relating metatranscriptomic profiles to the micropollutant biotransformation potential of complex microbial communities, Environmental Science and Technology, 54(1), 235-244, doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b05421, Institutional Repository
Aeppli, M.; Vranic, S.; Kaegi, R.; Kretzschmar, R.; Brown, A. R.; Voegelin, A.; Hofstetter, T. B.; Sander, M. (2019) Decreases in iron oxide reducibility during microbial reductive dissolution and transformation of ferrihydrite, Environmental Science and Technology, 53(15), 8736-8746, doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b01299, Institutional Repository
Burkard, M.; Betz, A.; Schirmer, K.; Zupanic, A. (2020) Common gene expression patterns in environmental model organisms exposed to engineered nanomaterials: a meta-analysis, Environmental Science and Technology, 54(1), 335-344, doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b05170, Institutional Repository
Schug, H.; Maner, J.; Begnaud, F.; Berthaud, F.; Gimeno, S.; Schirmer, K.; Županič, A. (2019) Intestinal fish cell barrier model to assess transfer of organic chemicals in vitro: an experimental and computational study, Environmental Science and Technology, 53(20), 12062-12070, doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b04281, Institutional Repository
To the library

Publications for practitioners

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

Report: Chemical Pollution in Low-and Middle-Income Countries

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]

Moschet, C.; Deola, L.; Ruff, M.; Söser, R.; Mühlemann, S.; Altherr, T.; Götz, C.; Wyss, A.; Singer, H.; Rösch, A.; Beck, B.; Daouk, S. (2019) Task-force "Pyrethroiden". Erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit der Kantone auf der Suche nach toxischen Insektiziden im Gewässer, Aqua & Gas, 99(11), 68-73, Institutional Repository
Rösch, A.; Beck, B.; Hollender, J.; Stamm, C.; Singer, H.; Doppler, T.; Junghans, M. (2019) Geringe Konzentrationen mit grosser Wirkung. Nachweis von Pyrethroid- und Organophosphatinsektiziden in Schweizer Bächen im pg l-1-Bereich, Aqua & Gas, 99(11), 54-66, Institutional Repository
Casado-Martinez, M. C.; Schneeweiss, A.; Thiemann, C.; Dubois, N.; Pintado-Herrera, M.; Lara-Martin, P. A.; Ferrari, B. J. D.; Werner, I. (2019) Écotoxicité des sédiments de ruisseaux. Les pesticides présents dans les sédiments ont des effets sur les organismes benthiques, Aqua & Gas, 99(12), 62-71, Institutional Repository

Selected research projects

EcoImpact is an Eawag-wide interdisciplinary research effort, strongly motivated by the planned modifications of the Swiss wastewater treatment plants.
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.

Experts

Prof. 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
PD Dr. Thomas Hofstetter
  • isotopes
  • micropollutants
Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender
  • wastewater
  • biological degradation
Dr. Elisabeth Janssen
  • photochemistry
  • proteomics
  • organic pollutants
  • natural waters
  • analytical chemistry
Dr. Marion Junghans
  • algae
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • micropollutants
  • ecotoxicology
Dr. Ralf Kägi
  • nanoparticles
Dr. Cornelia Kienle
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • ecology
  • ecotoxicology
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. Marc Suter
  • algae
  • chromatography
  • mass spectrometry
  • micropollutants
  • molecular ecotoxicology
  • proteomics
Dr. Etienne Vermeirssen
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • ecotoxicology
  • sediments
Dr. Colette vom Berg
  • fish
  • molecular ecotoxicology
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Wehrli
  • river restoration
  • hydrogeology
  • surface water
  • sediments
Dr. Inge Werner
  • aquatic ecotoxicology
  • molecular ecotoxicology
  • ecotoxicology