As things stand, a suspected contamination of drinking water requires that a technician first be sent out to take samples from the water supply. The samples are then cultured and analysed in the laboratory. Only after several days does it become clear whether the water is contaminated and which bacterium is the offender.
Now, however, three former Technical University of Denmark (DTU) students have developed a bio sensor that can measure bacteria levels in the water supply in real time, 24/7, 365 days a year.
This means that in the event of contamination, the waterworks can be notified immediately and take precautionary measures.
"I believe that our product will revolutionize the way microbiological water quality measurements are made," says Erik Gustav Skands, CEO of the small entrepreneurial start-up SBT Aqua, which is behind the newly developed sensor.
The three DTU founders hail from the fields of nanotechnology, physics, and computing, respectively.
Founded in 2013, the company has won numerous awards and competitions with its sensor and the underlying measuring concept, including first prize in Denmark's biggest entrepreneurial competition, Venture Cup. The company—which is located in the science park Scion DTU with easy access to the University's academic environments—is now engaged in product development, testing and patent application.
The sensor is expected to be on the market in 2016.
Explore further: New sensor improves quality check drinking water