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 customer 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 ensure good procedures with minimal risk.

Overview of unwanted biological processes in drinking water mains.

Overview of unwanted biological processes in drinking water mains.

Controlling biological activity

The presence of harmful microorganisms in water is not desirable. Opportunistic, pathogenic microorganisms like Legionella pneumophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa constitute a threat to public health. They also threaten the reputations of the drinking water sector, industry and government. The growth of microorganisms and invertebrates in water can lead to customer complaints, technical problems and the exceedance of legal standards. Besides a timely signalling, there is also a need to take effective measures to control unwanted biological activity. To prevent health risks arising in the distribution of safe, impeccable-quality (drinking) water, current insights are needed into the factors that stimulate microorganism growth and into how it can be controlled.

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, biological stability and processes using effective measurement strategies (growth potential, biomass, hydrogenomics), including the translation of results into improved management measures.
  • Problem analysis of the unwanted effects of biological processes in water systems, like the spread of pathogenic microorganisms for humans and plants.
  • Definition and testing of management measures against the growth of Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other pathogens in water environments, with the use of specific KWR-developed detection methods.
  • Optimisation of treatment processes aimed at the production of biologically stable 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 control 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

Armed with the knowledge provided by KWR, the drinking water sector, industry and government can reduce the risk of unwanted growth of microorganisms in their procedures to a minimum.