Mobile qPCR for rapid assessment of water quality

24th August 2020


New measurement techniques help water managers to respond more quickly and adequately to current health risks for bathers. With Orvion Udetect® quantitative results on microbial water quality are obtained in the field within 2 hours on various risk factors that normally require a two-day waiting period . Cities, municipalities, water boards and Rijkswaterstaat make every effort to make city water and designated bathing water sites accessible and suitable for recreationists and sports and benefit events, such as City Swims. The TKI project “Snelle detectie van fecale verontreiniging in zwemwater” will assess which role mobile qPCR can play to support water managers in this.

Sampling for E.coli water testing at the sea
On-site filtration of water sample for mobile qPCR analysis with Orvion Udetect(R)
Microbial water quality being tested with Udetect at a designated bathing site.

Udetect in the field

In the summer of 2020, 14 designated bathing sites in the Netherlands (fresh and marine) are monitored in the field using Udetect. Udetect is used in the canals by Breda and in the Waal near Nijmegen to check for E. coli, in addition to the BACTcontrol-sensor sensor for continuous monitoring of E. coli. Not only E. coli are tested, but also toxic blue-green algae/cyanobacteria toxic genes and Leptospira (Leptospirose/Weil’s disease) are measured.

Field measurements are carried out by Aquon, Aqualysis and Deltares. In addition to testing in the field, validations will be performed in the laboratories of Deltares and KWR.

The aim is to provide more accurate methods to test microbial swimming water quality. This would enable laboratories that routinely do this work to better support cities and waterboards assess and manage water quality, leading to healthier recreation and a better living environment.

Collaborative partners within this TKI-project are: Aqualab Zuid, Aqualysis, AQUON, Deltares, Municipality of Breda, Hoogheemraadschap van Delfland, Hoogheemraadschap de Stichtse Rijnlanden, Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland, KWR, MicroLAN, Orvion, Partners4UrbanWater, Rijkswaterstaat, Sopachem, STOWA, Waternet, Waterproef, Waterschap Brabantse Delta, Waterschap de Dommel