If you go to the toilet and flush, the dirt is gone.

But where is it?

Your stinky toilet water becomes clean water again, which ends in the river.

Producing drinkable water is not the aim of a regular wastewater treatment, but to get it clean enough, so it does not harm the environment (e.g. when the water streams in the Inn).

In our lab, old beer is poured in at the top and clean water comes out at the bottom.

The picture shows some tenths of a mm big aggregates („granula“) of red anammox bacteria. Many colorless, egg-shaped bell-animals sit on a long stalk. These organisms come from the Demon Reactor of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) Strass im Zillertal, where these bacteria break down ammonium very efficiently.
How to make clean water

Wastewater treatment

Project description

Wastewater treatment is an educational topic in the field of environmental biotechnology, which should contribute to a conscious handling with water and wastewater. Dirty water (or stale beer) is poured into a model of a wastewater treatment plant, and clean water comes out at the bottom, thanks to the activity of bacteria. The microorganisms can be observed in the microscope.

In addition to modern wastewater treatment plants, the topic of wastewater treatment on Alpine huts will also be discussed. In this cooperative project with several wastewater associations (including Zirl, Oberes Pustertal and others), environmental technology companies and the Institute of Environmental Technology, the handling with water and wastewater is taught.


Institute of Microbiology (Pümpel), BioTreat GmbH (Ebner, Knapp))