The main tasks of ISWA are research and education as well as supporting federal and state agencies, municipalities and industry in developing solutions for practical problems. This can be accomplished, for example, through external studies of existing plants or research facilities or by providing a collection of basic data on the design and planning of treatment facilities. ISWA is led by an executive board to which all the professors belong. It is divided into three chairs which are further subdivided into two departments, seven working groups and the Treatment Plant for Education and Research (LFKW). With a total of 150 employees, it is the largest institute of its kind in Europe.
The main tasks of ISWA are research and education as well as supporting federal and state agencies, municipalities and industry in developing solutions for practical problems. This can be accomplished, for example, through external studies of existing plants or research facilities or by providing a collection of basic data on the design and planning of treatment facilities.
ISWA is led by an executive board to which all the professors belong. It is divided into three chairs which are further subdivided into two departments, seven working groups and the Treatment Plant for Education and Research (LFKW).
With a total of 150 employees, it is the largest institute of its kind in Europe.
The Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management was already dealing with problems of water quality, water supply, wastewater disposal and solid waste disposal in the Fifties, long before the investigation of environmental problems was common.
Today, the institute is an interdisciplinary institution within the Faculty of Civil- and Environmental Engineering of the University of Stuttgart and employs civil engineers, environmental engineers, biologists, chemists, process engineers, geologists and geographers.
The main tasks of ISWA are research and education as well as supporting federal and state agencies, municipalities and industry in developing solutions for practical problems. This can be accomplished, for example, through external pilot plant experiments or by working out the basic data and concepts for the planning and design of plants.
The institute is headed by a executive board, comprising all professors. It is divided into three Chairs which are further subdivided into two Departments, seven Working Groups and the Treatment Plant for Education and Research (LFKW).
With its 150 staff members, the institute is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
Teaching, Post-Graduate Studies and Publishing
Courses on all relevant subjects in environmental engineering are given by the professors and assistants of the institute and by numerous external instructors, especially for:
- Civil engineers in the basic curriculum: “Water and Waste Engineering' and in three advanced curricula: “Water Quality Management and Water Supply Technology', “Wastewater Technology' and “ Solid Waste Management'.
- Environmental engineers in the basic curricula: “Environmental Chemistry I', “Environmental Biology I', “Water Quality Management I', “Sanitary Engineering I', and in eight advanced curricula “Environmental Chemistry II', “Environmental Biology II', “Environmental Measuring Technique', “ Water Supply and Water Quality Management', “Sewage Treatment', “Industrial Water Technology', “ Solid Waste Management' and “Waste Gas Treatment'
- Master students in the master programs: 'WAREM', 'WASTE' and 'Infrastructure Planning' (in English language)
Furthermore, courses are offered for the advanced education of process engineers, chemists, biologists, physicists, etc.
The institute regularly organizes a variety of short courses, conferences and seminars over topics of water quality management, water supply, wastewater disposal, solid waste management, hazardous waste technology, biological air purification, water chemistry, etc.
The results of the research work and the proceedings of all conferences and seminars are published in two bulletins:
- Stuttgarter Berichte zur Siedlungswasserwirtschaft
- Stuttgarter Berichte zur Abfallwirtschaft.
Topics of Research and Investigation
Water Quality Management:
- Anthropogenic influences on living organisms in subterranean communities and the possibilities of influencing them
- Water quality management and measurement of water quality in the eco-systems of ground and surface waters
- Toxicological research on fish from surface waters with anthropogenic loads
- Management of storm water from settlements
- Physical water treatment
- Subterranean water treatment
- Subterranean removal of iron, manganese, arsenic, nitrates
- Prevention of bacterial contamination of filters and ion exchangers
- Biological elimination of nitrates and chlorinated hydrocarbons by micro-organisms; prevention of contamination with pesticides
- Groundwater sanitation
- Conserving water supplies and using storm water
- Treatment and transport of storm water flow
- Concepts for drainage systems
- Development of processes for nitrification, denitrification, biological and chemical removal of phosphorus as well as for anaerobic treatment of industrial sewage
- Management of sewer systems and treatment plants with measuring and regulation techniques
- Minimizing sludge quantities
- Research and development of processes for water supply and wastewater disposal for industries
- Recycling of treated sewage
- Elimination of resistant pollutants from water
- Development of membrane-technologies for industrial and domestic treatment plants
- Consulting in the planning of sewage treatment processes
- Performance evaluation for plants and processes, e.g. measuring of oxygen supply
- Examination of small treatment systems according to DIN 4261
- Concepts for the disposal of domestic and industrial solid wastes (avoiding refuse, separate collection and reuse of wastes, composting and fermentation, incineration and pyrolysis, treatment of hazardous wastes, regulated land-filling)
- Sanitation of old hazardous waste sites
- Treatment of leachates and gases from landfills
- Development of waste management concepts for industry and communes
- Integrated systems for solid waste disposal in developing countries
- Development of processes for the biological treatment of polluted air (filters, bio-scrubbers, trickling filters and membrane reactors)
- Development of measuring and sampling techniques for the analysis of air pollution (olfactometry and trace analysis)
- Recording and identifying microorganisms in air from rooms and exhaust air
- Microbiology and biochemistry of degradative and bio-transforming processes
Analytical and Testing Methods
In the institute, the following measuring, analytical and process control methods have been further developed and used for sample examination and research work:
- Chemical oxygen demand (COD)
- Sapromat unit as an automated method for measuring biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
- 'Denimat' as method for measuring biochemical demand of nitrate
- 'Methanomat' for measuring anaerobic degradation; measuring adsorptive capacity of Activated carbon for organic halogens and sulfur
- Determination of carbon (TC, TOC) and nitrogen (TNb, Norg)
- Toximeter as a forewarning instrument for toxic processes in activated sludge plants
- Gas chromatography, HPLC, ion chromatography, mass spectrometry, coupled measurement
- GC-MS, HPLC-MS, CE-MS, tandem-mass spectrometry
- Atomic absorption spectroscopy
- Fourier-transform-infrared-spectrometry (FT-IR)
- Extraction and chromatography with supercritical fluids ASE and SFC
- Immunological and biochemical assays (ELISA)
- Capillary electrophoresis CE; electro-chromatography
- Toxic effects of sewage on fish
- Test systems for determination of the degradation of plastics and biopolymers
- Inter-laboratory tests for analytical quality assurance (support and supervision of public and private laboratories in Baden-Württemberg)
Equipment of the Institute
The institute has numerous laboratories for the biological, chemical and physical analysis of water, wastewater, solid wastes and exhaust air at its disposal. It also has all necessary equipment for monitoring: water works, domestic and industrial sewage treatment plants, solid waste disposal plants; for the examination of the water quality of ground and surface waters; for fisheries research in inland waters and equipment for fish pathology. For semi-technical and technical scale experiments the institute has experimental halls with an area of about 800 m² at its disposal.
One part of the institute is a sewage treatment plant which has been designed for teaching and research purposes. This plant system can be divided into two or more parallel streams in order to facilitate different treatment methods simultaneously. The wastewater comes from the town Büsnau (about 3.000 inhabitants) and from the university campus.