Michael Berg

Michael Berg
Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs | Eawag · Department of Water Resources and Drinking Water

Dr.

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180
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Publications

Publications (180)
Article
Full-text available
Arsenic (As) is one of the most prolific natural contaminants in water resources, and hence, it has been recognized as an emerging global problem. Arsenic exposure through food exports and imports, such as As-contaminated rice and cereal-based baby food, is a potential risk worldwide. However, ensuring As-safe drinking water and food for the globe...
Article
Full-text available
Concentrations of naturally occurring fluoride in groundwater exceeding the WHO guideline of 1.5 mg/L have been detected in many parts of Pakistan. This may lead to dental or skeletal fluorosis and thereby poses a potential threat to public health. Utilizing a total of 5483 fluoride concentrations, comprising 2160 of new measurements as well as tho...
Poster
Full-text available
Most people in Ghana have no or only basic access to safely managed water. Especially in rural areas, most of the population rely on groundwater for drinking, which can be contaminated with fluoride leading to dental fluorosis. Children under the age of two are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of fluoride and can retain 80–90% of a f...
Article
Full-text available
Naturally occurring, geogenic manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) are frequently found dissolved in groundwater at concentrations that make the water difficult to use (deposits, unpleasant taste) or, in the case of Mn, a potential health hazard. Over 6000 groundwater measurements of Mn and Fe in Southeast Asia and Bangladesh were assembled and statistical...
Article
Groundwater contamination of geogenic arsenic (As) remains a global health threat, particularly in south-east Asia. The prominent correlation often observed between high As concentrations and methane (CH4) stimulated the analysis of the gas dynamics in an As contaminated aquifer, whereby noble and reactive gases were analysed. Results show a progre...
Article
Full-text available
Most people in Ghana have no or only basic access to safely managed water. Especially in rural areas, much of the population relies on groundwater for drinking, which can be contaminated with fluoride and lead to dental fluorosis. Children under the age of two are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of fluoride and can retain 80–90% of...
Article
In this study, the author report detailed results of the variation of arsenic in groundwater along a transect in an area near the Hanoi city centre. The results showed that 64% of collected samples exceeded the WHO guideline value for arsenic concentration in drinking water. The arsenic concentration varied in a wide range, strongly depending on th...
Article
Surfactants are high-production-volume chemicals that are among the most abundant organic pollutants in municipal wastewater. In this study, sewage sludge samples of 36 Swiss wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), serving 32% of the country's population, were analyzed for major surfactant classes by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Th...
Article
Full-text available
Geogenic arsenic contamination in groundwaters poses a severe health risk to hundreds of millions of people globally. Notwithstanding the particular risks to exposed populations in the Indian sub-continent, at the time of writing, there was a paucity of geostatistically based models of the spatial distribution of groundwater hazard in India. In thi...
Article
Full-text available
Geogenic arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater is a health threat to millions of people worldwide, particularly in alluvial regions of South and Southeast Asia. Mitigation measures are often hindered by high heterogeneities in As concentrations, the cause(s) of which are elusive. Here we used a comprehensive suite of stable isotope analyses and...
Article
High arsenic (As) concentrations in groundwater are a worldwide problem threatening the health of millions of people. Microbial processes are central in the (trans)formation of the As-bearing ferric and ferrous minerals, and thus regulate dissolved As levels in many aquifers. Mineralogy, microbiology and dissolved As levels can vary sharply within...
Article
Full-text available
Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are used in increasing amounts in technical applications and consumer products. However, to date, the contribution of industrial sources to the loads of individual REEs in wastewater streams have not been quantified. Here, we determine the REE contents in sludge collected from 63 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) across...
Article
Although phosphate (PO4³⁻) may play a decisive role in enriching toxic arsenic (As) in the groundwater of many Asian deltas, knowledge gaps exist regarding its interactions with As. This study investigates the simultaneous immobilisation of PO4³⁻ and As in aquifer sediments at a redox transition zone in the Red River Delta of Vietnam. The majority...
Article
Iron minerals are the most important arsenic host in As-contaminated deltaic sediments. Arsenic release from Fe minerals to groundwater exposes millions of people worldwide to a severe health threat. To understand the coupling of Fe mineralogy with As (im)mobilization dynamics, we analyzed the geochemistry and mineralogy of a 46 m long sediment cor...
Article
Full-text available
Arsenic groundwater contamination threatens the health of millions of people worldwide, particularly in South and Southeast Asia. In most cases, the release of arsenic from sediment was caused by microbial reductive dissolution of arsenic-bearing iron(III) minerals with organic carbon being used as microbial electron donor. Although in many arsenic...
Article
Full-text available
The fate of arsenic (As) in groundwater is determined by multiple interrelated microbial and abiotic processes that contribute to As (im)mobilization. Most studies to date have investigated individual processes related to As (im)mobilization rather than the complex networks present in situ. In this study, we used RNA-based microbial community analy...
Article
Full-text available
Groundwater is a much safer and more dependable source of drinking water than surface water. However, natural (geogenic) hazardous elements can contaminate groundwater and lead to severe health problems in consumers. Arsenic concentrations exceeding the WHO drinking water guideline of 10 μg/L globally affect over 220 million people and can cause ar...
Article
Naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater affects millions of people worldwide. We created a global prediction map of groundwater arsenic exceeding 10 micrograms per liter using a random forest machine-learning model based on 11 geospatial environmental parameters and more than 50,000 aggregated data points of measured groundwater arsenic concentr...
Article
Full-text available
Geogenic groundwater arsenic (As) contamination is pervasive in many aquifers in south and southeast Asia. It is feared that recent increases in groundwater abstractions could induce the migration of high-As groundwaters into previously As-safe aquifers. Here we study an As-contaminated aquifer in Van Phuc, Vietnam, located ~10 km southeast of Hano...
Article
Full-text available
Natural organic matter (NOM) can contribute to arsenic (As) mobilization as an electron donor for microbially-mediated reductive dissolution of As-bearing Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides. However, to investigate this process, instead of using NOM, most laboratory studies used simple fatty acids or sugars, often at relatively high concentrations. To investi...
Article
Full-text available
Mercury (Hg) pollution threatens ecosystems and human health. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) play a key role in limiting Hg discharges from wastewaters to rivers and lakes, but large-scale studies to estimate Hg loads and discharge at national levels are scarce. We assessed the concentration, flux, speciation, and removal of Hg in 64 (pre-stud...
Article
Groundwater recharge indicates the existence of renewable groundwater resources and is therefore an important component in sustainability studies. However, recharge is also one of the least understood, largely because it varies in space and time and is difficult to measure directly. For most studies, only a relatively small number of measurements i...
Article
Full-text available
Geogenic arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater poses a major threat to global health, particularly in Asia. To mitigate this exposure, groundwater is increasingly extracted from low-As Pleistocene aquifers. This, however, disturbs groundwater flow and potentially draws high-As groundwater into low-As aquifers. Here we report a detailed characte...
Article
Global-scale N-oxide contamination of groundwater within aquifers occurs due to the widespread use of N-bearing fertilizers and chemicals, threatening both human and environmental health. However, the conversion of these pollutants in active nitrogen (N) cycling processes in the subsurface biosphere still remains unclear. This study investigates th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Natural arsenic contamination of groundwater aquifers is globally widespread, and particularly poses a problem in regions where groundwater is the main source of drinking and cooking water. Arsenic poisoning can lead to a myriad of serious health effects such as diseases of blood vessels, diabetes and cancers. The aquifers of the Red River Delta in...
Article
The biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus (P) in South and Southeast Asian floodplain and delta aquifers has received insufficient attention in research studies, even though dissolved orthophosphate (PO4³⁻) in this region is closely linked with the widespread contamination of groundwater with toxic arsenic (As). The overarching aim of this study was...
Article
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Zusammenfassung Im Wassergewinnungsgebiet Hardwald werden rund 15 Mio. m³/a Trinkwasser produziert. Es finden sich jedoch Spuren von chlorierten organischen Verbindungen im Grundwasser. Als Fallstudie werden hier die Ergebnisse von Feld- und Laborarbeiten zur Bestimmung der räumlichen Verteilung der chlorierten organischen Verbindungen, der stabile...
Presentation
Full-text available
Elevated concentrations of As in groundwater leading to a serious health risk for millions of people have been reported at many places all over the world. Most existing investigations are limited to a uni-disciplinary research approach, thereby neglecting the interactions between hydrochemistry, geochemistry, mineralogy, microbiology and groundwate...
Article
Full-text available
For about the past eight decades, high concentrations of naturally occurring fluoride have been detected in groundwater in different parts of India. The chronic consumption of fluoride in high concentrations is recognized to cause dental and skeletal fluorosis. We have used the random forest machine-learning algorithm to model a dataset of 12,600 g...
Article
Full-text available
Analysis of over 500 groundwater samples from throughout the Red River Delta indicates de-coupling of dissolved arsenic (As) and dissolved iron (Fe). Sorting of all data along the redox potentials suggests re-adsorption of As released initially from Mn(IV)-oxyhydroxides and later from Fe(III)-oxyhydroxides on remaining ferric phases at moderate red...
Article
Full-text available
In einem landesweiten Screening wurden in 64 Schweizer Kläranlagen die aktuellen Konzentrationsbereiche und Frachten von Spurenelementen erfasst. Anhand dieser Werte wurde die Einhaltung der gesetzlichen Vorgaben überprüft sowie die gegenwärtigen durchschnittlichen Pro-Kopf-Elementfrachten und der ökonomische Wert der Elementfrachten berechnet. Bis...
Article
This paper presents a first integrated survey on the occurrence and distribution of geogenic contaminants in groundwater resources of Western Amazonia in Peru. An increasing number of groundwater wells have been constructed for drinking water purposes in the last decades; however, the chemical quality of the groundwater resources in the Amazon regi...
Article
Knowledge about the residence times of artificially infiltrated water into an aquifer and the resulting flow paths is essential to developing groundwater-management schemes. To obtain this knowledge, a variety of tracers can be used to study residence times and gain information about subsurface processes. Although a variety of tracers exists, their...
Article
Coal seam gas production involves generation and management of large amounts of co-produced water. One of the most suitable methods of management is injection into deep aquifers. Field injection trials may be used to support the predictions of anticipated hydrological and geochemical impacts of injection. The present work employs reactive transport...
Article
The migration of arsenic (As) enriched groundwater into Pleistocene aquifers as a consequence of extensive groundwater abstraction represents an increasing threat to the precious water resources in Asian delta regions. Pleistocene aquifer sediments are typically rich in FeIII-(hydr)oxides and are capable to adsorb high amounts of As. This results i...
Article
Full-text available
Arsenic-contaminated aquifers are currently estimated to affect ~150 million people around the world. However, the full extent of the problem remains elusive. This is also the case in Pakistan, where previous studies focused on isolated areas. Using a new data set of nearly 1200 groundwater quality samples throughout Pakistan, we have created state...
Poster
Mercury and mercury containing compounds are widespread and extremely toxic pollutants, which affect human and environmental health. With the major goal to globally reduce the release of mercury and to protect humans and the environment, 128 countries including Switzerland signed the international “Minamata Convention”. This agreement is aimed at d...
Presentation
Full-text available
To develop adequate groundwater management and protection plans, knowledge about the residence time of artificially infiltrated water in the aquifer as well as the flow paths is essential. Typically, tracers are used to gain information about subsurface processes. A variety of tracers exist, all with their own advantages and limitations. The applic...
Article
Full-text available
The number and quantities of trace elements used in industry, (high-tech) consumer products, and medicine are rapidly increasing, but the resulting emissions and waste streams are largely unknown. We assessed the concentrations of 69 elements in digested sewage sludge and effluent samples from 64 municipal wastewater treatment plants, as well as in...
Article
Over the last few decades, significant progress has been made to characterize the extent, severity, and underlying geochemical processes of groundwater arsenic (As) pollution in S/SE Asia. However, comparably little effort has been made to merge the findings into frameworks that allow for a process-based quantitative analysis of observed As behavio...
Article
Stable isotopes of water, organic micropollutants and hydrochemistry data are powerful tools for identifying different water types in areas where knowledge of the spatial distribution of different groundwater is critical for water resource management. An important question is how the assessments change if only one or a subset of these tracers is us...
Article
In many countries of south/south-east Asia, reliance on Pleistocene aquifers for the supply of low-arsenic groundwater has created the risk of inducing migration of high-arsenic groundwater from adjacent Holocene aquifers. Adsorption of arsenic onto mineral surfaces of Pleistocene sediments is an effective attenuation mechanism. However, little is...
Article
Full-text available
Treatment of drinking water for arsenic (As) removal has been implemented in centralized facilities worldwide, reflecting the increasingly stringent national and international drinking water standards for As, for which a standard of 10 μg/L has been widely adopted. It might therefore be expected that information on the performance of installed trea...
Article
Full-text available
Das Trinkwassergewinnungsgebiet Hardwald ist geologisch und hydrogeologisch komplex, zudem existieren zahlreiche Randeinflüsse sowie diverse historische Belastungen. Um eine gute Trinkwasserqualität zu gewährleisten, ist es deshalb von grosser Bedeutung, mögliche Mischungsprozesse verschiedener Wässer zu identifizieren. Hierfür wurde im Rahmen des...
Article
Arsenic contamination in groundwater from crystalline basement rocks in West Africa has only been documented in isolated areas and presents a serious health threat in a region already facing multiple challenges related to water quality and scarcity. We present a comprehensive dataset of arsenic concentrations from drinking water wells in rural Burk...
Article
Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is recognized as an important process for nitrogen cycling, yet little is known about its role in the subsurface biosphere. In this study, we investigated the presence, abundance, and role of anammox bacteria in upland soil cores from Tianjin, China (20 m depth) and Basel, Switzerland (10 m depth), using isoto...
Chapter
Full-text available
We developed statistical risk models at regional to sub-continental scales that classify safe and unsafe areas with respect to geogenic arsenic (As) contamination for the threshold of 10 micrograms per liter. The advantage of this approach lies in the fact that predictions can even be made for regions where groundwater has not yet been tested. The...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated catchment-scale management approaches in large catchments are often hindered due to the poor understanding of the spatially and seasonally variable pathways of pollutants. High-frequency monitoring of water quality at random locations in a catchment is resource intensive and challenging. A simplified catchment-scale monitoring approach i...
Article
Full-text available
Millions of individuals worldwide are chronically exposed to hazardous concentrations of arsenic from contaminated drinking water. Despite massive efforts towards understanding the extent and underlying geochemical processes of the problem, numerical modeling and reliable predictions of future arsenic behaviour remain a significant challenge. One o...