Research for the future

Research opens up strong perspectives, if tomorrow's challenges are identified and tackled in a targeted manner. In this sense TZW identifies itself as a driving force for the development of innovations that encompass the entire water cycle. In about 50 research projects each year TZW develops concepts and processes that can be implemented successfully in practice.


 Employee measuring field

Resource protection

Our research focuses on the management of raw water resources, both groundwater and surface water. Innovative planning tools are applied for these investigations. We explore and evaluate hazards and risks, which arise from e.g. land cultivation or biomass generation in water catchment areas. By using modelling we investigate the impacts of climate change on water supply.


Environmental biotechnology

Main research areas are microbiological degradation processes and combining technical and biological methods to eliminate especially persistent substances. The constant development of modern microbiological and molecular biological methods and the use of efficacy tests to monitor and evaluate the processes running in the aquatic environment contribute to improve water quality.


Employee works on test columns

Sample is placed in a bioanalyser


Within our research projects, reliable and sensitive detection methods for hygienically relevant and pathogenic microorganisms, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes are developed, extended and applied. We test their application for water analysis and evaluate disinfection and treatment measures in the context of the quantitative microbial risk assessment.



Micropollutants, their transformation products and the topic of microplastics are of top priority for the water sector. By a permanent development of modern analytical methods it is possible to determine these parameters reliably and sensitively. We investigate their behaviour in the water cycle and in treatment processes. A qualified risk assessment is also a subject of our research.


 Employee works on analytical column and liquid chromatograph

Employee fills samples on test columns filled with sand

Waste water and water cycle

The use of biological decomposition in the purification and reuse of waste water and in groundwater recharge makes a significant contribution to the protection of surface waters and overstained groundwater resources. We develop integrated water supply and waste water management concepts and evaluate the purification capacity using chemical indicators.

New technologies and products

New technologies, such as UV LED technology and products to treat, disinfect and post-process drinking water are constantly entering the market. These are investigated in our research projects related to the efficiency, security and robustness for practical application.


Employee in front of a computer using a colony counter

 Two employees at a test stand for water distribution

Asset management and infrastructure

The aim of our research is to develop methods and management strategies to evaluate the condition of the supply network and its components during operation. This enables a stable supply of high-quality drinking water while the evaluation is in progress. The further development of online sensor technology and of data-driven models for process control are important future-oriented topics.


Safety and security, digitalisation and management

Digital transformation is taking place in public water supply in areas such as data collection, data management and IT security. Identifying trends and the resulting specifications is part of every effective research management strategy. Our research covers the safety of drinking water supply in normal operation and exceptional situations.