Water analysis Conducting and evaluating physical-chemical and microbiological water testing in accordance with the German Drinking Water Ordinance and other relevant legal regulations.
Testing of products and devices Initial testing of products and materials in contact with drinking water. Our Test Centre is accredited for more than 200 different product standards according to DIN EN ISO 17025. Test and develop UV technology.
Treatment technologies Develop sustainable water supply concepts. Implement, monitor and optimise new technologies. Test and further develop existing treatment methods.
Micropollutants and microorganisms Develop and improve the method of determination using cutting-edge equipment. Investigate the presence, behaviour and retention of inorganic and organic micropollutants in the water cycle and drinking water treatment.
Networks and drinking water distribution Microbiological quality change, deposit formation and cleaning and optimisation of the distribution network operation. Evaluate and analyse corrosion damage.
Risk management Support for water supply companies to establish a Water Safety Plan. Benefit from our extensive expertise.
Contaminated sites Evaluation of the decomposition potential at contaminated locations. Development of sustainable ways to eliminate pollutants from the environment. Employ a combination of microbiological and technical methods.
- About TZW
The basis for avoiding the transmission of diseases through drinking water is to ensure it is microbiologically safe. We therefore work to detect and establish the activity of microorganisms, looking at all aspects from water catchment and treatment to distribution. The issues range from developing and applying reliable and sensitive detection methods, to evaluating disinfection and treatment measures, to risk management.
Besides traditional cultural methods, modern molecular biological methods are a crucial part of biological research. The use of these methods also offers possible solutions in the water sector. By thinking outside the box, TZW endeavours to identify key developments early on. As part of research projects, findings are obtained using new technologies and their application for water analysis are tested and relayed.
Hygienically relevant and pathogenic microorganisms
Reliable and sensitive detection methods for indicator organisms and pathogens are critical to reliably monitor drinking water quality. Besides traditional detection methods, molecular biological methods are becoming increasingly important to detect bacteria, viruses and parasites. Findings on the presence, propagation and removal of hygienically relevant microorganisms in the water cycle are needed to be able to offer solutions to microbiological problems.
Molecular biological tools for root cause analysis and identifying contamination sources
Microbiological problems in drinking water can have a variety of causes. Modern and innovative methods to identify bacteria (MALDI-TOF-MS, sequencing and PCR-based methods) have the potential to help with causal research. These include microbial source tracking tools. These help to determine possible sources of origin in the catchment area for faecal contamination.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes
The long-term and extensive use of antibiotics has not only encouraged the development and dispersion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in the clinical realm but also in the aquatic environment. For this reason, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes are the subject of increasing discussion as new parameters in the evaluation of hygienic water quality. A series of completed and ongoing research projects has given TZW long-standing experience on the detection of antibiotic resistance in the environment.
Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA)
Holistic risk management is a pre-requisite for safe drinking water supply and includes both risk analysis and risk minimisation. TZW therefore works on practical and research projects on the effectiveness of treatment methods in the context of the quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) concept.
Materials in contact with drinking water
Materials that come into contact with drinking water can have a negative impact on the microbiological water quality. We have addressed these aspects in a series of practical research projects.
TZW Publication Series
Volume 76: Verhalten von Antibiotikaresistenzgenen bei der Trinkwasseraufbereitung [Behaviour of antibiotic resistance genes in drinking water treatment]
Volume 77: Identifizierung und Bewertung von Eintragsquellen mikrobiologischer Belastungen [Identification and assessment of contamination sources of microbiological pollution]
Volume 81: Molekularbiologische Lebend/tot-Unterscheidung [Molecular biological live/dead differentiation]
Volumes from the TZW publication series can be purchased here.
Hügler M., Reitter C., Hambsch B.: Falschpositive E. coli-Nachweise in Trinkwasserproben [False-positive detection of E. coli in drinking water samples]. DVGW energie/wasser-praxis 70(1):44-46 (2019)
Hügler, M., Stange, C., Ho, J., Hambsch, B., Tiehm, A.: Molekularbiologische Methoden – Trends und Entwicklungen. Veröffentlichungen aus dem Technologiezentrum Wasser [Molecular biological methods – trends and developments. Publications from the Technology Centre Water], Vol. 80, p. 45-63 (2017).
Schäfer, C., Ho, J., Lotz, B., Armbruster, J., Putz, A., Zou, H., Li, C., Ye, C., Zheng, B., Hügler, M., Tiehm, A.: Evaluation and application of molecular denitrification monitoring methods in the northern Lake Tai, China. Sci. Total. Environ. 663:686-695 (2019).
Stange C., Yin D., Xu T., Guo X., Schäfer C., Tiehm A.: Distribution of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes in Lake Tai, China. Science of the Total Environment 655: 337-346 (2019)
Ho J., Seidel M., Niessner R., Eggert J., Tiehm A.: Long amplicon (LA)-qPCR for the discrimination of infectious and noninfectious phiX174 bacteriophages after UV inactivation.
Water Research 103: 141-148 (2016)
Stange C.,Sidhu J.P.S.,Tiehm A.,Toze S.: Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in coliform water isolates. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 219: 823-831 (2016) DOI 10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.07.015