onderwerp

Making regrowth of microorganisms in water manageable

Biological activity

Growth of microorganisms in (drinking) water can present risks to public health and lead to consumer complaints, technical problems and exceedance of legal standards. Besides making an accurate diagnosis, KWR makes sure that any regrowth problems that might arise are manageable. This helps the drinking water sector, industry and government in ensuring the effectiveness of their procedures, so that the contamination risks are minimised.

Overview of unwanted biological processes in drinking water mains.

Overview of unwanted biological processes in drinking water mains.

Limiting biological activity

The presence of harmful microorganisms in (drinking) water is not desirable. Opportunistic, pathogenic microorganisms like Legionella pneumophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa constitute a threat to public health and to the reputations of the drinking water sector, industry and government. The growth of microorganisms and invertebrates in drinking water can lead to consumer complaints, technical problems and the exceedance of legal standards. Besides a timely signalling, there is also a need to take effective measures to limit unwanted biological activity. This calls for both knowledge and practical experience.

Example of biological activity: Legionella bacteria (red) infecting amoeba (green) (microscopic image).

Example of biological activity: Legionella bacteria (red) infecting amoeba (green) (microscopic image).

From diagnosis to effective measures

Besides making an accurate diagnosis, KWR ensures that any regrowth problems that might arise are manageable.

  • Analysis of (micro) biological activity and processes using effective measurement strategies (growth potential, biomass, genomics), including the translation of results into improved management options.
  • Problem analysis of the unwanted effects of biological processes in water systems, like the spread of pathogenic microorganisms.
  • Definition and testing of management measures against the growth of Legionella pneumophila in water environments, with the use of specific KWR-developed detection methods.
  • Optimisation of treatment processes aimed at the production of biologically stable drinking water and at low biological activity in the distribution system.
  • Development and application of knowledge regarding the role of mains and installations in unwanted biological activity, in collaboration with the installation branch.
  • Understanding of biofilm growth in water systems in greenhouse horticulture and definition of measures to prevent biofilm growth.
KWR’s Continuous Biofouling Monitor determines the biofilm formation potential of water every two weeks.

KWR’s Continuous Biofouling Monitor determines the biofilm formation potential of water every two weeks.

Knowledge leads to effective procedures

KWR provides the latest knowledge about the factors that stimulate the growth of microorganisms in water environments, the management of this growth and the measures needed to prevent the associated health risks. Armed with this knowledge, the drinking water sector, industry and government can implement effective procedures, so that the risks of unwanted growth of microorganisms are minimised. This is crucial for the production and distribution of safe, impeccable quality (drinking) water.