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
We specialise in microbiological environmental aspects to improve water quality and use biological decomposition process to purify water and keep it clean. Natural and stimulated biological degradation processes in the subsurface can contribute significantly to the cost-effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable elimination of these substances.
In the event of contamination, TZW develops concepts and feasibility studies to clean up the affected resources. We use environmental biotechnology lab and microbiology and molecular biology detection methods when assessing the hazards of their biodegradability and ecotoxicity.
Microbiological decontamination concepts at contaminated sites
Using molecular biological investigations and laboratory studies in our biotechnology pilot plant, we develop the necessary framework conditions to stimulate and optimise pollutant degradation as part of our assessment of the biological degradation potential on contaminated sites. In addition, we use suitable aerobic or anaerobic and saturated and unsaturated lab systems depending on the investigated matters, to develop key site-specific parameters to dimension and upscale on-site and in-situ remediation work (e.g. Funnel-and-gate with bioreactor, iron(0) reaction walls, use of nanoiron).
Concept formulation for monitored and enhanced natural attenuation
The monitored and enhanced natural attenuation (MNA/ENA) requires in-depth knowledge of the process as well as, for example, the quantification and prediction of load reduction. Using deficit analyses, we formulate MNA/ENA concepts and determine the success factors for its implementation. Evidence for the natural attenuation is provided by assessing the pollutant profiles, redox zoning (redox-sensitive parameters, microbiological and molecular biological screening) and microcosms.
Degradability of new pollutants
For new substances, we identify the framework conditions for microbial degradation and conduct hazard analyses on degradability and ecotoxicity, based on literature searches and targeted laboratory testing. As part of feasibility studies we support the site owner or the engineering consult and support the implementation of the developed decontamination concepts with pilot field trials.
Innovative decontamination concepts by using new degradation pathways
Our practical research is particularly important in view of implementing innovative decontamination concepts. TZW uses its knowledge specifically for site-specific testing of new microbial degradation pathways, which enables us to derive new concepts for microbiological remediation practice.
Combination of technical and biological methods
Biological degradation processes are often unusable or inadequate for persistent and/or toxic substances. Using technical methods such as electrochemistry, ISCO or ozonation, the substances are exposed to microbial decomposition. Combining this with subsequent biological degradation makes it possible to develop cost-effective and sustainable concepts to effectively eliminate persistent substances.
Methods and equipment
Environmental biotechnological methods
- Microbial pollutant degradation in pilot scale
- Batch microcosms, column tests (saturated, unsaturated)
- Redox conditions: aerobic, nitrate/iron(III)/sulphate-reducing, methanogenic
- Oxygen consumption (Oxitop system), biological oxygen demand (BOD)
Molecular biological methods
- DNA extraction from water and solid samples
- Quantitative real-time PCR:
- anaerobic-reductive dechlorinating bacteria e.g. of dehalococcoides, desulfomonile, dehalobacter, desulfitobacterium and desulfuromanas
- Anaerobic-reductive dechlorinating enzymes e.g. of dehalococcoides PceA, TceA, VcrA and BvcA
- Faecal markers (microbial source tracking)
- Nitrate, iron(III), sulphate reducers and methanogens
- Fingerprinting with DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis)
- Flow cytometry
- Microbial count (Most-Probable-Number (MPN) method): Total aerobic microbial count, nitrate/iron(III)/sulphate-reducers, pollutant degraders
- Biomass determination
- Ecotoxicity in the luminescent bacteria inhibition test
- Pollutant analysis
- Analysis of metabolism-related parameters
- Extensive equipment for organic and inorganic analytics (also at trace level)
- Anaerobic chamber
- Lab-scale columns (500 ml – 50 l), with sampling and measuring sites, temperable
- Climate chambers (4 °C and 12 °C) to perform batch and column experiments
- PCR-thermocycler (quantitative real-time, gradient function)
- DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis)
- Flow cytometer
- Pipetting robot
- Gas chromatographs with EC, FI, WL, MS and MS-MS detectors
- Ion chromatograph
- HPLC (High Pressure Liquid Chromatography)
Quantification of the microbial and chemical-oxidative degradation of NSO-heterocycles
The NSO-HET substance group includes creosote-like pollutants and is classified similarly to PAHs and BTEX aromatics as hazardous to groundwater. The…Read more
Remediation of sites contaminated with BTEX/AHC aromatics
The remediation of BTEX-contaminated groundwater, for example via Pump & Treat, has frequently proved inadequate and economically untenable. The aim…Read more
Parametrisation and quantification of groundwater ecosystem services as a basis for sustainable control (GroundCare)
Groundwater is the most important resource for our drinking water. However, in many locations the good quality of groundwater is at risk or may have…Read more