Passive sampling of microbiological parameters

The aim of this project is to establish a picture of whether passive sampling for microbiological detection can deliver added value over taking samples. Passive sampling is a way of sampling chemicals in different contexts. Over a long period of time, substances accumulate in a matrix. The average concentration of these substances can therefore be determined with a low detection threshold. The method is also of interest for tracking micro-organisms and DNA.

In the case of microbiological detection, passive sampling raises the likelihood of detecting pathogens and indicator species, as well as detection sensitivity. The frequency of monitoring can be reduced and the approach is cost-effective. Examples of passive sampling for microbiological detection can be found for pathogens, indicators and eDNA. Nevertheless, more research is needed for broader application in the field of drinking water.

Faecal micro-organisms in groundwater

This project focuses on the question of whether the passive sampling of micro-organisms and viruses is suitable for detecting faecal indicator organisms and viruses in groundwater. It will investigate which material is suitable for absorbing or adsorbing viruses, bacteria and/or DNA. The current passive samplers in use for extraction wells will then have to be modified using this material.

Quantitative and qualitative information

The project is also looking at whether passive samplers can be used for quantitative or qualitative information about microbial contamination. This involves looking at the accumulation of microbial contamination in the passive samplers and the possible detachment of the attached material. The results will allow for an improved assessment of whether the passive sampling of microbiological parameters is a suitable option.