The subject of the biological stability of drinking water has been of great interest to the sector’s joint research programme (BTO) since the 1970s. As a result, we today dispose of analytical methods to determine the biological stability of drinking water, and to predict and diagnose the occurrence of undesirable biological activity in drinking water during its storage and distribution.
Undesirable biological activity can lead to the multiplication of opportunistic pathogens, like Legionella pneumophila, or to the grow of organisms that can result in aesthetic complaints with regard to the water, such as visible animal organisms, turbidity, brown water, and odour or taste problems. Thanks to the attention paid to this subject and the application of the developed analytical methods, the Dutch water companies have improved the biological stability of water over the past few years. The exact extent of the improvement is not known. This has led to a discussion about the importance of the regrowth problem and about whether drinking water is sufficiently stable.
In this workshop we will be working together to create a clearer picture of the concepts of biological stability and regrowth and of their importance for the drinking water sector; and the different water companies will share their experiences and positions. In this way future BTO research can be better delineated.