AquaBioTox - Broadband sensor for monitoring drinking water quality

© Fraunhofer IOSB / M. Zentsch
© Fraunhofer IOSB

Short description of the project

Water networks are exposed to the risk of intentional or unintentional contamination. Especially in the drinking water supply, which is also a potential target for terrorist attacks, public health hazards must be identified in time.

Project goals

The Drinking Water Ordinance therefore requires routine testing for certain pathogens and chemical substances. On the one hand, the analytical procedures used for this purpose, which are carried out offline in special laboratories, are too lengthy to be able to warn the population in good time in cases of contamination and to initiate effective remedial measures (e.g. disconnection of affected parts of the water supply network). Furthermore, they are limited to a limited spectrum. Unknown or unexpected toxic substances that may pose the same threat to human health are not taken into account.

Therefore, for the early detection of health-threatening contaminations in drinking water, an online-capable broadband test procedure for drinking water conformity is needed, which reacts very quickly and reliably, is robust against false alarms, can be operated by persons without scientific qualification and whose acquisition and maintenance costs are economically justifiable. Currently, such online-capable and broadband sensor systems are not commercially available.

Project result

The AquaBioTox broadband sensor concept is based on monitoring the vitality of very rapidly reacting biological microorganisms, which are constantly exposed to drinking water in a stable process engineering biological process, online by a camera with automatic Image Exploitation to diagnose significant changes.

Project partners

The AquaBioTox system concept was realized within the framework of the BMBF project of the same name together with Fraunhofer IGB, Berliner Wasserbetriebe and bbe Moldaenke. The performance of the sensor system was proven under realistic conditions in a test water network of Berliner Wasserbetriebe.

Clean drinking water through AquaBioTox and SMaRT-OnlineWDN

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Clean drinking water through AquaBioTox and SMaRT-OnlineWDN


Department MRD of Fraunhofer IOSB

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Further Information

Project duration: 12/2007 - 11/2010, funding code: 13N9536


The AquaBioTox project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).