Scientific-technical realisation of two modules HOT-TARGET and BAK-IDENT (HotBak)

Software and technical support for water suppliers with trace substance and microbiological findings

black-silver laptop with code on a table

Image: Clément Hélardot on Unsplash

HOT-TARGET is used for the initial classification of the drinking water relevance of trace substances and possible measures for risk control on the basis of criteria such as mobility, persistence, occurrence in the aquatic environment, health guidance values and removability during drinking water treatment. HOT-TARGET is based on an intuitive browser-based web application in which substance-specific information can be called up after entering the substance name or CAS number. This enables water supply companies to assess the relevance of a finding of trace substances in raw water and to take prompt action if necessary.

BAK-IDENT aims to support water supply companies in their search for the causes of microbiological abnormalities. It is based on the rapid identification of microbiological organisms relevant to drinking water using MALDI-TOF analyses - in particular from the group of coliform bacteria, enterococci and heterotrophic bacteria (colony count). In the case of microbiological contamination, this represents a significant time saving, which is particularly important when health authorities are deciding on a possible boiling ban.

In the project, the digital workflows for the two applications are first defined. At the same time, substance properties of trace substances are being researched, monitoring data compiled and relevant information transferred to a database (HOT-TARGET). Data acquisition within BAK-IDENT includes the collection of mass spectra of new strains to expand the existing database. The development of the web application includes the programming of the backend and frontend as well as the containerization of applications. Finally, the application is tested in a test phase to ensure that it fulfils the requirements defined for its use.