Largest multi-city study on drug wastewater analysis released today

The findings of the largest European project to date in the emerging science of wastewater analysis (WWA) are released today in an article published in Addiction. The project in question — steered by the Europe-wide SCORE network — analysed wastewater in over 40 European cities to explore the drug-taking habits of those who live in them. Its conclusions are taken up in the European Drug Report 2014, launched by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) today, as well as in an online interactive analysis by the agency dedicated to the issue (Perspectives on drugs).


coverOrt, C., A. L. van Nuijs, J. D. Berset, L. Bijlsma, S. Castiglioni, A. Covaci, P. de Voogt, E. Emke, D. Fatta-Kassinos, P. Griffiths, F. Hernández, I. González-Mariño, R. Grabic, B. Kasprzyk-Hordern, N. Mastroianni, A. Meierjohann, T. Nefau, M. Ostman, Y. Pico, I. Racamonde, M. Reid, J. Slobodnik, S. Terzic, N. Thomaidis and K. V. Thomas (2014). “Spatial differences and temporal changes in illicit drug use in Europe quantified by wastewater analysis.” Addiction 109(8): 1338-1352.

Read more: Largest multi-city study on drug wastewater analysis released today

ES&T’s Best Papers 2013: Two SEWPROF members among co-authors

ES&T first pageThe journal Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T) selected 15 articles for the best papers 2013. In the category Environmental Technology Jake O’Brien’s (UQ/Entox, Australia) manuscript, with Jochen Mueller (also UQ/Entox, Australia) and Christoph Ort (Eawag, Switzerland) amongst the co-authors, was third-runner up.

The manuscript describes an innovative method to estimate the number of people who contributed to a wastewater sample. Measuring multiple pharmaceuticals in wastewater allows reliably quantifying day-specific population sizes and realistic uncertainty estimates thereof. These are important numbers to calculate population-normalized drug loads in wastewater-based epidemiology.

Jake W. O’Brien, Phong K. Thai, Geoff Eaglesham, Christoph Ort, Andreas Scheidegger, Steve Carter, Foon Yin Lai, and Jochen F. Mueller. A Model to Estimate the Population Contributing to the Wastewater Using Samples Collected on Census Day. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2014, 48 (1), 517–525 doi: 10.1021/es403251g.

Wastewater-based epidemiology shortlisted at td-award 2013

Finalists at the td-award ceremony 2013 (photo by td-net)

Finalists at the td-award ceremony 2013 (photo by td-net)

On 21 October 2013 in Bern, Switzerland, the td-net (Network for Transdisciplinary Research) honoured recent developments and ongoing collaborations in the field of wastewater-based epidemiology. The td-award recognises an outstanding trans-disciplinary approach pushing boundaries of trans-disciplinary research.

The team of applicants lead by Christoph Ort (Eawag, Switzerland) involved nine scientists from SEWPROF ITN.

The jury from the td-net evaluates projects related to framing a complex problem, co-production of knowledge between disciplines, inclusion of stakeholders, scientific rigour and societal relevance.