Veolia in water-quality monitoring research partnership

French water giant Veolia Environnement and has initiated a research partnership with industrial microbiology specialist bioMérieux to develop an innovative monitoring system for drinking water quality.

The partnership, announced on 2 July 2013, aims to develop an innovative technology for the continuous monitoring of the microbiological quality of drinking water. A preliminary step will be a study to assess the project’s technical and economic feasibility.

The challenge of this partnership is to adapt the microbiological control methods developed by bioMérieux for the biopharmaceutical and agri-food industries to the water industry. It involves detecting, more rapidly than with current techniques, the microorganisms in the natural environment or in water supply networks, as well as any contamination, whether accidental or due to bioterrorism.

The partnership should lead to the development of an easy-to-use solution that could be implemented widely. It would be a promising scientific advance to have a precise evaluation of the microbiological quality of drinking water at every stage of the production chain, from the source to the consumer’s tap, passing through the production plants and supply networks. In the event of a sanitary crisis, it would also enable the presence of microorganisms to be detected (bacteria, viruses and parasites, in particular).

The combined scientific expertise of the two partners, especially in infectious diseases and the modeling and control of water distribution networks, should accelerate the development of a high-value-added solution for monitoring drinking water quality.