Biology and fouling

When talking about microbiological pollution of water, a distinction needs to be drawn between drinking water and technical water. In most modern infrastructures, water which is supplied by public providers usually adheres to the legal limit values for microbiological pollution meaning it is virtually free of microbiological pollution. But problems can still occur, especially in complex systems , from bacteria for example like legionella which spreads from areas with little water flow. In the worst case these legionella can cause very dangerous diseases. Health authorities and industry employ strict regulations for systems that are susceptible. Monitoring for this pollution in public buildings and employing measures against outbreaks of Disease is essential and it can become expensive keeping bacteria counts below safe levels.

Bio-film, biofouling and growth of algae usually occur in technical or non drinking water, especially in open systems.  Micro organisms spawn in water and form a so-called bio-film on pipes and machines. This film affects heat transfer or may even clog entire systems. Most of the time chemical additives have little success in solving this problem or are very expensive.

Merus has been dealing with this subject for some time and we can show a number of successes. Our projects involving bio-film in cooling systems, growth of algae in fountains and cooling towers or legionella in drinking water installations have been completed successfully. Projects like these involve thourough site investigation and understanding. They are complex and sensitive. They need accurate planning and implementation. It can sometimes take up to one year before a system is freed from such growth entirely.