SAFER Surveillance and control of microbiological stability in drinking water distribution networks
| Country: EU Projects
| Start Date:
| Contract Number: EVK1-CT-2002-00108
| Organisation Type:
Water and sanitation-->Water and sanitation
Water and sanitation-->Water supply
| Project objectives:
The project SAFER aims to control drinking water microbial stability and quality changes during its transport throughout distribution systems.
Drinking water quality in distribution networks varies markedly in Europe, depending on the country and the extent of urbanisation (big towns versus dispersed
habitations). However in all cases, drinking water is a very vulnerable product whose high quality may deteriorate during transport because of a microbial
contamination from the resource and from the biofilm developed in the distribution system (potable water is not a sterile product, neither is the network itself).
Thanks to the development of new fast detection techniques the SAFER project will permit to implement early warning tools for biofilms and pathogens. Therefore
it will strongly reduce microbial risk for consumers.
One other important point is that the project will also provide relevant information for an efficient post disinfection of distributed water avoiding excess
use of chemicals and hereby reducing the production of disinfection by-products.
The main objective of SAFER is to develop analytical tools for early warning signals and control parameters which govern proliferation of micro-organisms
in drinking water distribution systems, and by way of consequence to decrease the risk of gastrointestinal illness for consumers throughout the EU.
- Biofilm accumulation surveys (to gauge the status and development of biofilms)
- Pathogen detection (bacterial and protozoal in aquatic biofilms)
- Efficient disinfection (rapid monitoring of disinfection efficiency)
will be the main targets of the study as three of the key factors leading to unsafe waters for general and specific (such as immunologically depressed) consumers.
The research will lead to the development of analytical tools for rapid diagnosis and quality control to improve safe drinking water distribution.
| Achieved Objectives:
The elaboration of new and rapid decision-making tools by detection
and/or modification of biofilm composition. This will permit the control
of water quality changes inside the drinking water distribution system
by developing early warning-systems for biofilm accumulation.
The calibration of bench scale reactors to provide selected devices for
testing in dynamic conditions interactions between materials and
The sensitive detection of pathogens at low concentration,
contributing to the risk assessment of the prevalence of pathogens
associated with European potable drinking water distribution
The replacement of the existing accurate but too slow method for
disinfection efficiency control by a rapid (less than 1 hour) method.
As a whole, SAFER gives means to water industry to improve treatment
and drinking water distribution. It also provides opportunities for more
consumers protection by reducing accidents and epidemiological incidents
and provides important insights to be considered in the context of the
revision of the European policy in drinking water quality.
| Product Descriptions:
Practical guidance manual for water suppliers including device performances procedures to manage biofilm in drinking water distribution systems
European Workshop : 'Drinking water quality in distribution systems'Methodological guide for end-user
Methodological guide for end-user
Dissemination strategic plan
Technical data base on performances of device signals (biofilm, pathogens, disinfection) in relation to classical methods
Field analyses (Biofilm + water)
Definition of suitable procedures for rapid monitoring of disinfection efficiency of drinking water and biofilm
Use of nucleic acid fluorochromes for the rapid control of drinking water disinfection efficiency
New method for assessing rapidly the efficiency of disinfection
Configuration of each biofilm monitoring device
Confirmation that the detection methods developed using the spiked laboratory models are suitable for use with real distribution supply samples for routine
New detection method for bacterial, andprotozoal pathogens in potable water biofilms
Handbook for basic analytical microbiological and chemical methodologies (version 2)
Downloadable from: http://www.safer-eu.com/projects_results ...
| Additional Information:
| Project Resources:
| Funding Programme(s):
EC Framework Programme 5
| Link to Organisations:
Professor Paul Bardos
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