Public supply of drinking water must be compliant with strict organoleptic and sanitary standars. Development of biofilms in the inner surface of water distribution networks interferes with these standards giving place to a number of problems related to corrosion of the infrastructures and alterations of the organoleptic and sanitary quality of water. When water supply companies have attempted to implement measures to control biofilm growth, they have been confronted with the virtual absence of tools to evaluate their success. This project attempts to develop measuring devices to monitor both, biomass accumulation and the risk of biofilm formation in water distsribution networks. These devices, based on microsensors for impedance and calorimetry, will be calibrated in the laboratory using bioreactors operating as continous cultures. Later on, a two-stage industrial validation will be performed using both, a pilot distribution network, and a real water distribution network. In all cases, sensor output will be compared with biomass and activity determinations performed using conventional methodologies. The technology developed in this project can be directly implemented by one of the industrial partners (AGBAR) as part of their quality monitoring system. Commercial exploitation by AGBAR or related companies, of the devices developed is also contemplated.
|Effective start/end date||7/11/01 → 7/11/04|