A scientific basis for managing drinking water safety from source to tap

MICRORISK: Microbiological risk assessment

Prof. Gertjan Medema PhD, Patrick Smeets PhD MSc

  • Start date
  • End date
  • collaborating partners
    KWR, TechnologieZentrum Wasser, University of Bonn, Swedish Institute of Infectious Disease Control, University of East Anglia, WRc-NSF, Suez, Veolia, Delft University of Technology, University of New South Wales

The aim of MICRORISK was to develop a microbial risk assessment process which will contribute to the decision making process for risk management of drinking water. The drinking water production chain is integrated in a single knowledge framework and its reliability towards peak events, calamities and outbreaks will be determined. The elements of this framework are Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) and the Water Safety Plan. The implementation of the framework aspires to ‘benchmark’ the policy making process for safe design and operation of European Union water supplies.

Providing the scientific basis for managing safe drinking water from source to tap

MICRORISK has collected data on failures of water systems in Europe that lead to waterborne outbreaks, on pathogens in EU water sources, on the removal of pathogens by different water treatment processes, ingress of pathogens in water distribution networks and consumption of tap water. MICRORISK has developed a risk assessment framework to combine and process this information to support safe design and operation of water supply systems in the EU.

A risk assessment – risk management framework and the scientific data to fill it.

MICRORISK has provided a wealth of data on waterborne outbreaks, pathogen occurrence in water sources, efficacy of water treatment processes, distribution network safety and the impact of (peak) events and system failures. The MICRORISK data and risk assessment framework is used by water utilities to evaluate the safety of their water supply systems.


Het overall beeld van het project.



The partners in the MICRORISK project.

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