Urban Water Systems

To ensure that a stable supply of safe water is provided to societies with a declining/growing population and changing climate, the Urban Water System Laboratory has been conducting research to promote the renewal of appropriate facilities through the asset management of urban water infrastructure in the future and to solve urban water problems by developing novel water treatment technologies and assessing the vulnerabilities of urban water systems. Further, we conduct field studies including water quality and usage surveys in Japan and overseas.

Envvironmental Public Health Engineering

Safe water supply and sanitation is adopted as Sustainable Development Goal 6; it plays an important role in the prevention of waterborne diseases. Water safety is obviously important in developing countries; however, it is also a challenging issue in developed countries that already have installed water supply systems. To address the water safety associated with health-related microorganisms in the urban water system (i.e., water supply, sewers, and water environment), the research focuses of the Environmental Public Health Engineering Laboratory are 1) elucidating the fate of health-related microorganisms such as pathogenic viruses in urban water systems and 2) achieving the microbiological safety of urban water systems via environmental engineering.

Regional Circulating and Ecological System

Urban environmental engineering needs a wider field of view that considers relationships between urban activities and global-scale environmental issues. In the Regional Circulating and Ecological System Laboratory, we are studying efficient cyclical use of urban resources and development of regional energy management systems towards the future goals including decarbonization and circular economy.

Water Environment Technology

The Water Environment Technology Laboratory has been working on various complex issues related to urban water environment technologies. Environmental problems are related; therefore, it is important to comprehensively understand the water environment and water use in relation to the artificial water cycle, including water supply and sewage systems. Some of our research subjects are 1) urban runoff control and water cycle design, 2) advances in stormwater management and flood counter-measures, 3) control of microbial function in water treatment and microbial communities in water distribution systems, and 4) control of unregulated organic matter in the water environment. We aim to foster students’ ability to conduct research from multiple perspectives.

Environmental Risk Management and Quality Control Technology

Integrated management of a wide spectrum of risks associated with deteriorating environmental qualities (e.g., water, atmosphere, and soil) owing to human activities requires a comprehensive understanding of the problem by integrating various perspectives; further, technological developments for correctly evaluating and reasonably reducing risks are required. To this end, the Environmental Risk Management and Quality Control Technology Laboratory is developing risk evaluation methods/frameworks as well as innovative technologies.

Urban Sustainability Science

A major goal of the Urban Sustainability Science Laboratory is studying urban sustainability. We consider various scales of sustainability, such as individuals, cities, regions, and the Earth; subsequently, we conduct problem-oriented, participatory, and inclusive research projects. Finally, by creating a society that harmonizes with nature, we aim to realize sustainability and improve human well-being.

Social Ecological System (former Environmental Microbial Functions) * only in the Undergraduate Program

We have two lines of research activities: one on wastewater treatment processes utilizing microbial functions in both fundamental and process engineering aspects and the other on evaluating the sustainability of technological systems and sustainability education. Our laboratory is affiliated with the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences and is located in Kashiwa.

Sewerage System Innovation

In future sewerage system, recycling of regional resources such as water and energy is required. Considering social demands, Sewerage System Innovation Laboratory attempts to develop an innovative sewerage system using advanced materials, artificial intelligence (AI), and energy-saving technologies for recycling effluent and sludge from sewage treatment plant. Water business, regional development, and public-private partnership based on the sewerage system is also explored.

International Wastewater-based Epidemiology

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) utilizes the features of sewage infrastructure, where pathogens like viruses discharged from infected individuals accumulate in wastewater treatment plants. WBE provides a potent avenue for gathering public health data, facilitating early detection of disease outbreaks and comprehension of infection trends. Since its establishment in March 2024, the Laboratory of International Wastewater-based Epidemiology has been pioneering in the field of "wastewater-based epidemiology" and aiming to contribute to the establishment of resilient societies against infectious diseases through the implementation of WBE both domestically and internationally.