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.
Network management and drinking water installation 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.
Environmental biotechnology and 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.
Resource protection Protection of water resources, risk management in water catchment areas
Environmental biotechnology Technical and biological methods for the elimination of microorganisms, microbiological degradation processes
Microorganisms Developing and applying reliable and sensitive detection methods, evaluating disinfection and treatment measures
Micropollutants Determination of micropollutants, transformation products and microplastics reliably and sensitively, investigate behaviour in the water cycle, qualified risk assessment
Waste water and water cycle Use of biological decomposition, developing integrated water supply and waste water management concepts
New technologies and products Testing and optimizing processes and products to treat, disinfect and post-process drinking water for efficiency, security and robustness
Asset management and infrastructure Development of management strategies and innovative tools to evaluate the condition of the supply network and its components
Safety and security, digitalisation and management Digital transformation in public drinking water supply, increase the safety and security of drinking water supply
- About TZW
The use of biological decomposition processes in the purification and reuse of waste water and in groundwater recharge makes a significant contribution to sustainable water resource management. TZW develops integrated water supply and waste water management concepts. A focus is on using biological methods to eliminate especially persistent substances in waste water, surface water and groundwater. In addition to these aspects, our risk assessment activities also include evaluating microbial contamination in environmental samples using micro and molecular biological detection methods, for instance for antibiotic-resistant, hygienically relevant and pathogenic microorganisms.
Waste water treatment
Waste water treatment is a key component of water protection. As a result of new challenges in waste water treatment such as microcontaminants that may reach watercourses via waste water treatment plants, TZW contributes to progressing the state of technology and investigating further sewage treatment methods in treatment plants.
One approach to relieving the overstrained groundwater resources in regions where water is scarce, is to enrich groundwater with clarified, treated waste water. TZW is developing innovative concepts to assess possible treatment methods. The entry of combined waste water into surface water is an undesirable intervention in the affected ecosystem. TZW is involved in investigating sustainable and cost-effective approaches to resolve this problem.
The detection of SARS-CoV-2 biomarkers in wastewater was developed as a new topic. The quantitative detection of RNA contributes to the understanding of the infection process in the context of wastewater-based epidemiology. After a successful establishment of the new methodology, the results are increasingly being integrated into monitoring by local crisis teams.
In many locations the quality of the water – whether surface water or groundwater – is at risk or may already be impacted by increasing contamination, extreme weather, accidents and changes in use. Especially with regard to introducing treated waste water or using clarified, treated waste water as a drinking water resource, processes must be evaluated and controlled. Relevant research activities for TZW, therefore, are the establishment, further development, optimisation and validation of micro and molecular biological methods that can help monitor and improve water quality.
The evaluation of purification capacity requires the development of sustainable and innovative approaches. Using organic micropollutants as source and process indicators is a highly promising concept for assessing waste water pollution and waste water purification capacity at the catchment area level and is therefore a strategy TZW is pursuing.
TZW Publication Series Volume 77: Identifizierung und Bewertung von Eintragsquellen mikrobiologischer Belastungen [Identification and assessment of contamination sources of microbiological pollution]
TZW Publication Series Volume 62: Elimination anthropogener organischer Spurenstoffe im Zuge der Grundwasseranreicherung [Elimination of anthropogenic organic micropollutants during groundwater enrichment]
Volumes from the TZW publication series can be purchased here.
Schmidt N., Page D., Tiehm A.: Biodegradation of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors with oxygen, nitrate, manganese (IV), iron (III) and sulfate as electron acceptors. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 203: 62-69 (2017) DOI 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2017.06.007
Scheurer, M., Nödler, K., Freeling, F., Janda, J., Happel, O., Riegel, M., Müller, U., Storck, F.R., Fleig, M., Lange, F.T., Brunsch, A., Brauch, H.-J. (2017): Small, mobile, persistent: Trifluoroacetate in the water cycle - Overlooked sources, pathways, and consequences for drinking water supply. Water Research: 126, 460-471
Schneider A.-L., Schell H., Hild S., Mangold K.-M., Tiehm A.: Studies into design and operation of microbial fuel cells using oxygen gas diffusion electrodes. Desalination and Water Treatment 91: 222-227 (2017) DOI 10.5004/dwt.2017.20558
Castronovo, S., Wick, A., Scheurer, M., Nödler, K., Schulz, M., Ternes, T. A. (2017): Biodegradation of the artificial sweetener acesulfame in biological wastewater treatment and sandfilters. Water Research: 110, 342-353
Nödler, K., Tsakiri, M., Aloupi, M., Gatidou, G., Stasinakis, A.S., Licha, T. (2016): Evaluation of polar organic micropollutants as indicators for wastewater-related coastal water quality impairment. Environmental Pollution: 211, 282-290
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) DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2016.07.032
Schmidt K.R., aus der Beek T., Dai X., Dong B., Dopp E., Eichinger F., Hammers-Wirtz M., Haußmann R., Holbach A., Hollert H., Illgen M., Jiang X., Koehler J., Koester S., Korth A., Kueppers S., Li A., Lohmann M., Moldaenke C., Norra S., Qin B., Qin Y., Reese M., Riehle E., Santiago-Schuebel B., Schaefer C., Simon A., Song Y., Staaks C., Steinhardt J., Subklew G., Tao T., Wu T., Yin D., Zhao F., Zheng B., Zhou M., Zou H., Zuo J.,Tiehm A.:Since 2015 the SinoGerman research project SIGN supports water quality improvement in the Taihu region, China. Environmental Sciences Europe 28(1): 1-6 (2016) DOI 10.1186/s12302-016-0092-7
Jekel, M., Dott W., Bergmann, A., Dünnbier, U., Gnirß, R., Haist-Gulde, B., Hamscher, G., Letzel, M., Licha, T., Lyko, S., Miehe, U., Sacher, F., Scheurer, M., Schmidt, C. K., Reemtsma, T., Ruhl, A.S. (2015) Selection of organic process and source indicator substances for the anthropogenically influenced water cycle. Chemosphere: 125, 155-67
Scheurer, M., Heß, S., Lüddeke, F., Sacher, F., Güde, H., Löffler, H., Gallert, C. (2015) Removal of micropollutants, facultative pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria in a full-scale retention soil filter receiving combined sewer overflow. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 17 (1), 186-196