Site under construction, elements will be added regularly
Portable microbial test kits, smart solutions for data management and analysis, and services to help launch your microbial monitoring plan.
Our Solutions Overview >
Looking for testing devices? Learn about and select the best one for your application.
Need a paperless system to manage your results? Discover our nomad smart apps and microbial monitoring software.
Want help setting up a testing program? Find out how our experts can help create a plan specific to your process.
From microbreweries to large water treatment facilities, our solutions are suited to a wide range of applications for microbial monitoring in industrial settings.
Find all our solutions online in our shop
Go to the shop >
Portable, easy-to-use, lab-accurate microbial testing devices.
Connected apps for paperless data management, analysis, and advanced features.
Personalized support from one of our microbial monitoring experts.
A tool box with practical information about our solutions, technical aspects of sampling and testing protocols
Go to the Knowledge Hub >
Learn how we can start working together
Detailed information on our testing devices and how to use them
Functionality and specifications of our smart mobile application
Some principles and tips for designing and implementing test protocols with or without sample preparation
Good to know about the invisible world of microorganisms
How we keep your data confidential and secure
Water is a critical component of a wide variety of industrial processes. It can be used as an ingredient in a final product, as a cleaning agent to prepare equipment or materials for use or reuse, and as a reagent for analytical purposes. Because it is used in so many ways, it is important to consider water quality in terms of the presence of microorganisms. While it is tempting to presume that water is not subject to microbial contamination in the same way as more nutrient-rich or hospitable substrates are, this is not the case: in fact, microorganisms can grow and propagate in pure, and even ultrapure, water.
There are several ways in which microorganisms growing within a water purification system can impact water quality. For example:
Contamination of water affects not only analytical techniques that the water is used in, but also secondary items and processes such as culture media preparation and equipment/glassware cleaning. Because of this, it is important to monitor water quality to ensure that the water’s cleanliness and microbial contamination levels are acceptable for its intended purpose.
Water quality requirements
Many water purification systems are monitored continuously for a variety of water quality indicators, and automatic alerts are triggered by the system when out-of-the-ordinary levels are detected.
The settings used to define what level of water quality is acceptable can vary depending on the sensitivity of the application and the level of quality needed. Water used in industrial, clinical, or laboratory settings is typically classified as being one of three types, as follows:
Somewhat confusingly, different water quality standards use similar terminology to denote slightly different things. One of the most widely used standard is that delineated by ASTM International. The most recent version of the document defining these standards, ASTM D1193-06(2018), was published in 2018. ASTM International defines water purity using a scale ranging from Type 1 to Type IV that takes into account a variety of factors such as conductivity, pH, and mineral content. It also provides a substandard that assesses the level of microbial contamination based on the amounts of heterotrophic bacteria and endotoxin (a bacterial byproduct) that the water contains.
The other most commonly used scale is the ISO standard for water for analytical laboratory use, the ISO 3696:1987, which was also updated in 2018. The ISO scale defines Grade 1 to Grade 3 water qualities, with Grade 1 being the highest. Similar to the ASTM standards, the ISO standard assesses a variety of water properties; however, it does not specify appropriate or tolerable levels of microbial contamination for the different grades of water.
Water treatment process and water quality monitoring
Purification systems employing a number of distinct purification technologies are used to achieve water quality levels in line with the standards described above. Ideally, the water purification system will address a range of contaminants, such as minerals, organic compounds, and particulates, as well as of course microorganisms.
To specifically eliminate microbial contamination of water, an optimal water treatment process will use techniques such as:
Maintaining a high flow by designing the purified water distribution through a recirculation loop is an efficient way of maintaining water quality. Preventing water stagnation limits the potential formation of biofilms.
Noticeably, ion exchange, typically mixed-bed, and either single-use or regenerable, which removes charged ions from solution have no effect on microbes and can even be in some circumstances a source of microbial prolifération.
Unlike other contaminants like particulates or dissolved minerals, removing the majority of microorganisms is not a permanent step, as trace amounts can repopulate the water to generate detectable levels of contamination. Thus, systems should ideally be monitored continuously for the presence of microbes to ensure that the different techniques that are applied are effectively maintaining the microbial content at levels low enough that they will not have a negative impact on the final product.
Unfortunately, the majority of existing monitoring systems are not designed to assess the level of microorganisms. Thus, the need to constantly maintaining water purification systems, and monitor microbial levels in particular, can represent a substantial burden for a busy organization. Fortunately, standalone monitoring systems are now available that are easy to use and do not require any specialized equipment or laborious manual recording. Integrating such a system into your water purification process could be the key to successfully preventing regrowth of microbial contaminants in storage tanks, distribution piping, and other equipment.
If you have a question or want to learn more, we’re happy to help you find an answer!
Want to know more about the risks of microbial contaminations or about our smart solutions for managing them? Check out our Knowledge Hub.
Want to verify our solutions are right for your application? Not sure where to start? We’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our experts will be happy to help!
We’re also available to talk with you live. Send us a chat!