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TZW: Review

Annual report 2023

Dear reader!

Digitalisation is a topic which is high on the agenda of the water sector. For this reason, TZW has been pursuing a digitalisation strategy for several years, which encompasses both internal processes and the development of digital products and services. 

This year, we are taking our annual report one step further and offering it solely digital as a website. This is an efficient, sustainable and hopefully appealing development for you as readers. Take a look back with us at 2023, which was an exceptionally successful year for TZW. The growing activities led to further improvement in turnover and an increase in the number of employees. The two software solutions RiskPlus and PrognEAU are in the final development phase and will be launched on the market in 2024. With an innovative and positive spirit, we all want to continue working together on a future-proof water supply.

Browse through our TZW: Review and give us your feedback!

Facts and figures


Research projects






Water samples

Turnover development

22 Mio. €

20 Mio. €

18 Mio. €

16 Mio. €

18,3 Mio. €
18,7 Mio. €
20,0 Mio. €
21,0 Mio. €

Source of funding

  • Testing 16%
  • Research 17%
  • Technical-scientific expertises 67%

Fields of activity

  • Resource protection

    Priorities 2023

    • Risk management in the water supply / Drinking water catchment area ordinance
    • Problem- and area specific monitoring programmes, soil analyses and site inspections
    • Nitrate monitoring 4.0 - intelligent systems for a sustainable reduction of nitrate in groundwater
    • Introduction and development of groundwater models for water supply
    • Effects of climate change on the local water supply
    • Groundwater-compatible land management



  • Environmental biotechnology

    Priorities 2023

    • Electrochemical degradation of PFAS
    • Development of new methods for the detection of antibiotic resistance in the environment
    • Microbiological degradation of trichloroethylene under aerobic conditions without additional auxiliary substrates
    • Natural degradation (ND) of chloroethenes at contaminated sites
    • Degradation of pollutants through a combination of chemical (ISCO) and microbiological treatment
    • Material transport modelling for pollutant degradation



  • Water analysis

    Priorities 2023

    • Analysis of drinking water samples in accordance with legal requirements
    • Implementation of the analytical requirements of the new drinking water ordinance
    • Analysis of groundwater, surface water and raw water
    • Specific microbiological detection of indicator organisms or pathogens
    • Analysis of somatic coliphages
    • Quantitative determination of assimilable organic carbon (AOC) by recording bacterial reproduction curves
    • Analysis of municipal and industrial waste water



  • Micropollutants

    Priorities 2023

    • Development and improvement of trace analysis methods for both water samples and solid samples
    • Analysis of water and solid samples for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds (PFAS) 
    • Analysis and environmental behaviour of PMT substances (e.g. TFA and others)
    • Determination of specific groups of substances such as antiscalants (organic phosphonates and polyacrylates), pharmaceutical residues and endocrine disruptors, pesticide active ingredients and metabolites 
    • Analysis of nitrification inhibitors in water and soil
    • Non-target analysis for trace substance identification
    • Elution tests to determine the release of trace substances from soil or other solid materials
    • Determination of microplastics in various matrices



  • Microorganisms

    Priorities 2023

    • Causes of hygienic-microbiological contamination during water extraction, in the waterworks, in tanks or in the pipe network
    • Preparation of action plans for water supply companies without final disinfection with chlorine or chlorine dioxide
    • MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for the identification of bacteria
    • Use of flow cytometry and PCR-based methods for quality control
    • Evaluation of the microbiological quality of raw water by analysing index pathogens (Campylobacter, viruses and parasites) and viral indicators (bacteriophages)
    • Analyses for the elimination of antibiotic resistance during water treatment
    • Precise identification of microbiological contamination sources in the drinking water distribution system
    • Evaluation of molecular biological methods for microbiological monitoring



  • Wastewater and water cycle

    Priorities 2023

    • Detection of SARS CoV-2 biomarkers in wastewater
    • Extraction of nucleic acids and quantitative measurement using digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)
    • Quantitative detection of RNA in the context of wastewater-based epidemiology
    • Water reuse
    • Removal of microbiological contamination during the treatment and reuse of wastewater
    • Elimination of antibiotic resistance and viruses during further wastewater treatment



  • Testing of materials and products

    Priorities 2023

    • Tests according to evaluation criteria for hygienic requirements of materials and products (KTW-BWGL)
    • Initial inspection on behalf of DVGW CERT as part of 1+ certifications
    • Product monitoring at manufacturers
    • Testing of pipes and fittings
    • Products in water distribution and drinking water installations  
    • Devices for water treatment in domestic installations (e.g. softening systems)
    • UV devices, sensors and UV LED technology



  • Concepts for supply structures and technology

    Priorities 2023

    • Structural and supply concepts adapted to changing conditions such as climate change or demographic developments
    • Optimisation of existing treatment processes with regard to energy and resource efficiency
    • Pilot plants for treatment processes and technology concepts
    • Treatment of saline retentate from reverse osmosis plants
    • Removal of PFAS in consideration of new drinking water limits
    • Scientific support for extended efficacy tests of new treatment materials



  • Asset management and infrastructure

    Priorities 2023

    • Camera inspection of drinking water pipes
    • Development and implementation of the condition-orientated flushing strategy
    • Identification of water losses by analysing water demand data using specific algorithms
    • Development of optimised maintenance strategies based on in-situ corrosion measurements and systematic pipe network flushing
    • Ensuring water quality in the drinking water installation through optimised operation of the installation
    • Structural and supply concepts adapted to changing conditions such as climate change or demographic developments
    • Condition assessment of valves in drinking water networks



  • Safety and security, digitalisation and management

    Priorities 2023

    • Development of software solutions to support the operations of water supply companies 
    • RiskPlus software solution for risk management in cooperation with disy
    • Forecast of short-term water demand using software-as-a-service
    • Operation of databases for up to 1,200 water supply companies on the occurrence of pesticides with their metabolites and nitrate, including technical evaluation
    • Organisational and technical support for a project consortium to adapt the public drinking water supply to extreme events
    • Roadmap Water Supply 2030 to identify trends in water management, development of a vision for water supply in the year 2100 including case studies
    • Videos and hybrid formats for knowledge transfer



Projects completed in 2023

Activated carbons for drinking water treatment in times of crisis (AK-Crisis resilience)

In 2022, there were supply bottlenecks for activated carbons. This project was funded by the DVGW in order to determine how to respond to such crises.

Climate neutrality in drinking water supply (Carb(H2O)N)

In these days, climate neutrality is becoming a major topic and is also gaining importance in the drinking water supply sector. In the project,…

Relevance of neobiota to water supply (Neobiota)

Neobiota and especially neozoa can pose a potential threat to drinking water supplies, not only to drinking water quality, but also to the water…

Effects of climate change on water quality (KLIWAQ)

The effects of climate change on the quality of raw water resources were investigated. In addition to the vulnerabilities of the various water…

Multi-sectoral waterdemand and regions of water shortage in Germany (WatDEMAND)

Climate change has arrived in Germany and poses new challenges for water suppliers. WatDEMAND analysed which impacts climate change will have on water…

Method for microbiological water quality monitoring (MoVe)

With the rapid development of microbiological analysis in recent years, the question arises as to what the future of drinking water monitoring for…

Distribution of Water in the Field of Conflict between Water and Agriculture (VERTIKAL)

VERTIKAL analyses the increasing potential of conflict between drinking water supply and agricultural irrigation. Based on this, approaches and…

Digital tools for sustainable asset management (DigiTools)

Ageing infrastructures and changing framework conditions are currently major challenges for sustainable asset management in the water supply sector.…

Software tool for risk management in drinking water supply (RiskPlus)

In the BMBF joint project RiskPlus, an innovative, user-friendly software tool that can be easily embedded in the real work processes of water supply…

Development of a DIN standard for UV-LED-based water disinfection (DINoLED)

UV LEDs (UV light emitting diodes) are already widely used in small devices for point-of-use disinfection. Due to the specific properties of UV LEDs…

Field test to determine the benefit of used filter material from groundwater filtration as sorbent for treating biogenic gases (Fabio)

The field tests on large-scale biogas and sewage gas plants with a mobile pilot plant with two fixed-bed adsorbers for the removal of hydrogen sulfide…

Monitoring technology for assessing the condition of shut-off valves (ValveEar)

ValveEar was involved in the further development of a valve maintenance device for the precise assessment of the tightness of shut-off valves. To this…

Cloud based evaluation for non-target analysis of water samples (K2I)

The tracker for trace compounds is a cloud-based solution that enables laboratories to evaluate raw data from non-target analytical devices for a…

Further development of test methods for endocrine active substances

The aim of the project was to establish a fluorescence-based in vitro assay test system to map rapid non-genomic signaling cascades affected by…

Nitrate Monitoring 4.0 (NiMo)

Nitrate distribution in groundwater represents a highly complex, spatially and temporally highly variable pattern, which shows a pronounced regional…

Wastewater based Epidemiology (Biomarker CoV-2)

SARS-CoV-2 was analysed by PCR to detect an early change in the number of COVID-19 cases and to provide more information on the incidence of infection…

Increased water temperatures

Increased water temperatures in the drinking water network already pose a challenge for water supply companies. The objective of the research project…

Concentrates from drinking water treatment (KonTriSol)

How should concentrates from NF/UO processes be handled in future? Is treatment of the concentrates reasonable? How can a discharge into a water body…


Effect-related analysis (WBA - wirkungsbezogene Analytik) is an important addition to exposure analysis. In contrast to the assessment of total…

Aerobic metabolic degradation of Trichloroethene (TCE) (BioChlor)

In the German-Israeli cooperation project BioChlor, in cooperation with the Ben Gurion University (Israel), the aerobic metabolic chloroethene…

Ultrafiltration as an element of energy efficiency in drinking water hygiene (Ultra-F)

The aim of the project was the holistic and systematic investigation of drinking water installations on the lab scale, in pilot plants and in field…

Activated carbon from leaves (CoAct)

Researchers from the "CoAct" project have produced activated carbons from leaves and other residual biomass. TZW's investigations have demonstrated…

International projects

Water treatment in sewage treatment plant
German-Israeli project for advanced wastewater treatment (ELARIA)

This research project will provide reliable data on additional wastewater treatment steps for the elimination of antibiotic resistance and…

Sampling points for the surveillance at model sites
Surveillance of Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistances in Aquatic Ecosystems (SARA)

A better understanding of the fate of pathogenic viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria from the sources to river basins and estuaries are urgently…

Zero Pollution of Persistent, Mobile substances (ZeroPM)

Persistent, mobile (PM) substances are being recognized as serious threats to the safety of water resources. In many cases, drinking water supplies…

[Translate to English:]
Experimental Setup to determine the electrokinetic mobilisation of aerobic chloroethene degraders
Enhanced and innovative in-situ Biotechnologies for Contaminated Land Remediation (EiCLaR)

EiCLaR, a EU/China consortium, will develop scientific and technical innovations for in-situ bioremediation-processes. During the project, TZW will be…



6 Departments

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47 Publications

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110 Committees with TZW experts

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