Escherichia coli (E. coli) are intestinal bacteria which can cause disease. It must be ensured that no contaminated water finds its way into the water supply. The level of contamination was previously tested with methods in which the bacteria first had to be bred. This can require a period of between 24 to 48 hours.
The new analysis method of the technology start-up relies on measuring the metabolism of the bacteria. A water sample is mixed with substances which can only be processed by enzymes of the E. coli. In this way the activity of the enzymes is analyzed and subsequently the amount of bacteria contained in the water can be determined. In light of the fact that enzyme activity can already be effectively investigated, the systems can be correspondingly calibrated, which in turn serves as the basis for providing precise results.
On the basis of this principle, the company developed compact measuring devices as the basis for automatic measurements which can be administered and monitored online. In cooperation with the Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management of the Vienna University of Technology, two so-called “ColiMinder“ devices were recently installed in a pilot facility of the Main Sewage Clarification Plant Vienna. The devices are designed to conduct research on new methods to purify and disinfect wastewater which is fed into the Danube.