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 long-term quality assurance of drinking water is the principal objective of preventative resource protection. Establishing a risk management system for the drinking water catchment area is an important instrument in this context. We implement problem-specific monitoring programmes to track raw water resources and evaluate the results, focusing on hazards and risks in water catchment areas. The main emphasis is on the identification, elimination or reduction of water contamination, caused, for example, by agriculture, bioenergy generation, commercial enterprises or by construction and infrastructure projects in water protection areas. To assure the quality of our databasis for the early implementation of countermeasures, we maintain transregional databases on groundwater and raw water quality. Further tools include numerical groundwater modelling in which the flow conditions in two- and three-dimensional models of groundwater bodies are analysed and evaluated in conjunction with the measurement data.
Risk management according to EN 15975-2
In the update to the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, WHO recommends implementing a Water Safety Plan (WSP). The Water Safety Plan is based on the HACCP concept, a process-oriented risk management system. The systematic procedure to set up such a system is described in EN 15975-2 “Security of Drinking Water Supply”. We support water supply companies to set up this type of risk management system. The project steps are taken in close consultation with the relevant supply companies and adapted in their scope and level of detail to the local requirements.
Water protection and agricultural land use
Nitrate is a common contaminant of groundwater resources. We record nitrate leaching by monitoring soils and groundwater, evaluate it using simulation models, and devise remediation concepts. These are often linked to energy generation from biomass and biogas. Our efforts are aimed at establishing a water-protective land management in drinking water catchment areas and thereby reduce the nitrate leaching or entry of pesticide residues (active substances and metabolites).
Groundwater monitoring and databases
Monitoring raw water resources is useful to sustainably ensure drinking water quality in the long term. To that end we conduct area and problem-specific monitoring programmes and optimise measurement networks. The data is evaluated in more detail using statistical methods, geographic information systems (GIS), interpolations or groundwater modelling methods. Transregional databases maintained by TZW on groundwater and raw water quality provide a quality-assured and validated database. This can then be used to prepare recommendations for action and targeted measures in the event of lower-quality drinking water.
Construction measures in drinking water protection areas
Construction and infrastructure measures generally disturb the subsoil, which reduces the thickness of the surface layer. Construction activities can cause turbidity, microbiological or other contamination of the groundwater, for example due to accidents with water-polluting substances. We evaluate the potential hazards caused by construction site equipment, the building measures and the subsequent operation of the building, and derive a list of relevant measures to preserve evidence, protect the groundwater and secure the water supply. In these matters we collaborate closely with the relevant water supply companies, the competent authorities and the planners.
Preparation of schedules of measures and action plans
According to Section 16 (5) of the German Drinking Water Ordinance, every water supply company is obliged to create a schedule of measures that considers the regional water supply conditions. It is particularly recommended that water supplies without continuous disinfection also create action plans based on the DVGW worksheet W 1020 in addition to a schedule of measures. These contain rules on what to do if microbiological limits are exceeded with the aim of supplying consumers hygienically flawless drinking water at all times without any restrictions on use.
Identification of faecal contamination sources (microbial source tracking)
The microbiological culture procedures used for quality control currently are ideal for detecting quality problems caused by faecal entry, however they provide no information on the origin of this contamination. This information is vital for implementing targeted protection measures, for instance, as part of the Water Safety Plan. New, predominantly molecular biological methods have the potential to relate the origin of faecal input to possible sources.
Cause analysis for non-compliance of microbiological limit values in drinking water
Microbiological problems in drinking water can have a variety of causes. TZW offers consultation for water supply companies, authorities, industry and other partners on microbiological limit breaches and hygienic problems in drinking water treatment, distribution and installation.
Information and Links
Flyer – nitrate pollution / water protection and agricultural land use services (in German)
Flyer – risk management system according to DIN EN 15975-2 (in German)
Flyer – risk-based sampling planning (RAP) (in German)
Methods and equipment
- Geograpical information systems
- Data analysis, visualisation and statistical methods
- Risk management according to EN 15975-2 for catchment areas and water abstraction
- Numerical groundwater modeling
- TZW simulation model INVAM for the calculation of nitrate leaching
- Groundwater monitoring concepts
- Operation of transregional databases with online portals
- Soil sampling / Percussion core sampling
- site inspection and hazard analysis
- Mapping of agricultural uses by means of GPS
- Infiltration measurements (double ring infiltrometer)
- Groundwater sampling and monitoring
- Contaminant transport in soil (field lysimeter)
- Sampling of leachate by suction cups
- Nitrate analysis, physical-chemical parameters (water)
- Nitrate and ammonium-analysis (soil)
- Contaminant transport in soil (laboratory lysimeter)
Brauer, F.; Sturm, S.; Kaupe, M.; Schiffmann, S. (2019): Mehrwert des Risikomanagements für den Wasserversorger.
DVGW energie | wasser-praxis 12/2019, S. 53-55
Lange, F. T.; Sturm, S. et al (2018): Minimierungsstrategie für den PSM-Metaboliten-Eintrag ins Grundwasser Veröffentlichungen aus dem Technologiezentrum Wasser [Strategy to minimise PSM metabolites entering groundwater, Publications from TZW] 84, ISSN 1434-5765
Lorenz, J.; Kiefer, J.; Fischer, T. (2017): Die Grundwasserdatenbank Wasserversorgung Baden-Württemberg – ein Beitrag zum Trinkwasser-Ressourcenschutz [The groundwater database for water supply in Baden-Württemberg – a contribution towards drinking water resource protection]. In: Risiken in der Wasserversorgung. Stuttgarter Berichte zur Siedlungswasserwirtschaft [Risks in water supply. Stuttgart reports on urban water management], vol. 235, p. 61-77.
Sturm, S. (2017): Sicherheit in der Trinkwasserversorgung – Water Safety Plans als Instrument zum Risikomanagement [Safety and security of drinking water supply – Water Safety Plans as a risk management tool]. In: Risiken in der Wasserversorgung. Stuttgarter Berichte zur Siedlungswasserwirtschaft [Risks in water supply. Stuttgart reports on urban water management], vol. 235, p. 35-46.
Kiefer, J.; Geiges, M. (2016): Reduzierung der PSM-Belastung bei ausgewählten Rohwasserressourcen – Eine Initiative der DVGW-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg [Reduction in the PSM pollution in selected raw water resources – an initiative of the DVGW state group of Baden-Württemberg]. Grundwasserdatenbank Wasserversorgung. Sonderbeiträge zum 24. Jahresbericht [Groundwater database for water supply. Featured articles on the 24th annual report]. c/o TZW: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser, Groundwater and soil division (2016)
Zigelli, N.; Kiefer, J.; Sturm, S. (2016): Überwachung von Wasserschutzgebieten in Baden-Württemberg. Handlungsorientierung für Wasserversorger [Monitoring of water conservation areas in Baden-Württemberg. Guidance for action for water utilities]. ed. by DVGW-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg
Sturm, S.; Kiefer, J. (2016): Grundwasserschutz und Infrastrukturentwicklungen - Flächenkonkurrenz in Wasserschutzgebieten [Groundwater protection and infrastructure developments – competition for land in water conservation areas]. In: Veröffentlichungen aus dem DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser Karlsruhe [Publications from the German Water Centre Karlsruhe] (TZW) (75), p. 1–28
Volumes from the TZW publication series can be purchased here.
Nitrate nitrogen content of the soil under energie plant Silphie
Within the course of a short study, the estimation and evaluation of nitrate leaching from areas with the energy plant Silphie has been carried out…Read more
Microbial Source Tracking
The detection of indicator bacteria (e.g. E. coli) shows a fecal contamination in the water, but does not allow conclusions to be drawn about the…Read more
Risk management of micro-contaminants and pathogens in rural karst catchments (AGRO)
So far, it has often been difficult to identify the origin of microbiological contamination in raw water. With the help of so-called "Microbial Source…Read more