• Smart Innovation Revolutionises the Measurement of Microbial Contamination in Water
    Wolfgang Vogl at VWM Booth at the Innovation Pavilion © VWM GmbH

Water/Wastewater

Smart Innovation Revolutionises the Measurement of Microbial Contamination in Water

Aug 31 2016

The Vienna-based Company VWM GmbH – Vienna Water Monitoring Solutions (VWM) - announced today that it has won a highly-coveted award at the world’s foremost trade fair for water management, the Singapore International Water Week.

The company was selected by the jury as the winner of the Innovation Competition for the development of its pioneering technology, the ColiMinder, which allows bacterial contamination in water to be measured fully automated and within 15 minutes. At the same time, the company also clinched the Audience Award of the competition.

These awards confirm the innovation leadership of the company’s ColiMinder technology, which is synonymous with the efficient and economical analysis of bacterial contamination in water.. Earlier this year, the team, headed by managing director and founder DI Wolfgang Vogl, won the Innovation Competition of the 2016 International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi. Summing up the reasons for this string of awards, DI Vogl explains: "Conventional laboratory methods take 24 hours to detect the presence of E. coli bacteria, intestinal bacteria that serve as indicators of fecal contamination. The ColiMinder accomplishes that fully automatically in just 15 minutes. The boost in safety and the significant economic benefit – with a saving potential of up to 50 percent in processing costs – are globally unique. This was confirmed once again when the company won the Innovation Competition at one of the world’s most important trade fairs for water management."

In fact, this year’s Singapore International Water Week attracted more than 21,000 participants who have posted revenues totaling 10 billion euros. Because of its innovative underlying principle and economic benefits, VWM’s ColiMinder attracted a great deal of attention. Unlike conventional methods for detecting bacterial contamination in water, the ColiMinder process is based on the measurement of specific metabolic activities that allow four key microbiological parameters to be measured: contamination levels of the fecal indicator Escherichia coli, coliform bacteria and enterococci, as well as the total bacteria, which is especially important in the case of process water and cooling water. Previously, samples had to be taken and placed on special culture media. It then took up to three days for bacterial colonies to form, providing an indication of the microbial load. Thanks to the ColiMinder, water can now be analyzed directly and immediately. It takes just 15 minutes to determine the level of bacterial contamination.

This technology from VWM makes it possible for the first time to provide microbiological
water quality as "online parameters" for automatically monitoring and controlling processes.
DI Vogl explains the economic benefits, taking disinfection as an example: "If it takes hours
or days to detect microbial contamination, as is the case with conventional methods, you
always have to assume the worst possible contamination level and take appropriate
disinfecting measures. The rapid results of the ColiMinder now make it possible to match
the disinfection process precisely to the actual contamination level. The real contamination is
often much lower and requires far less effort to achieve disinfection. Costs can be cut by up
to 50 percent."

Another advantage of the ColiMinder devices is that it ties in well with the Internet. VWM
offers its customers online access to measured data, automated reports and online services
and support, where VWM monitors the equipment and ensures that it is working properly.
Besides selling and leasing the ColiMinder devices and the necessary reagents, VWM also
offers ColiMinder tests as a service, e.g. for evaluating or optimising water-treatment
processes and systems.


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