Real-time and online microbial monitoring and analysis of drinking water using Coliminder™.

Drinking Water Quality Monitoring

The quality of drinking water is essential as water is distributed to thousands of people within a short period of time. Besides contamination resulting from external sources and being spread within a network, bacteria and microorganisms are able to grow within the system and act as an internal source of hazard.

The ColiMinder has proven its capability to ensure precise and reliable monitoring of microbiological contamination

  • in drinking water treatment and production processes
  • in drinking water distribution systems (networks and storage tanks)
  • at raw water intakes for drinking water production

Performance and sensibility of the ColiMinder for drinking water analysis have been evaluated and proven to be the most sensitive available technology for monitoring of microbiological quality of drinking water.


Benefits of the ColiMinder


In case of contamination events.


In order to increase process efficiency, safety and sustainability.


The result timelines (microbiological activity & turbidity) carry important additional information about the dynamics of your system.


during production, in storage facilities and distribution networks.


to identify the source of microbiological contamination events.


Adjust disinfection intensity to based on actual contamination levels.

The ColiMinder bacterial analyzer can be installed at any stage of a drinking water production process for real-time monitoring of microbiological contamination.

Raw water intakes
Filtration (Sand, AC, UF, NF, RO)
River bank filtration wells
Disinfection process
Groundwater wells
Storage tanks
Flocculation process
Distribution networks


Sample 1 (black) monitoring raw water intake and Sample 2 (green) after activated carbon filtration.


The ColiMinder measures the specific metabolic (enzymatic) activity of the target organisms present in the sample.

The measured value provides information about the energy turnover of living organisms in the sample. Living organisms need energy, which they gain through their metabolism, so the metabolic activity reflects the energetic turnover of the existing microorganisms.

The measured activity directly indicates the faecal or microbiological contamination level of the water.

ColiMinder can automatically monitor any process step – critical control points – in water treatment processes, bottled water production, wastewater water treatment and discharge, industrial and process water treatment and discharge, providing a direct visualization of microbial dynamics of your processes. It also monitors any type of surface water, bathing and recreational water and raw water, be it fresh or saline water, providing a direct visualization of microbial dynamics of the respective water body.

The timeline displays any change in microbial contamination, providing precise and valuable information that was previously unavailable.

Since the results of the ColiMinder are available in near real time, microbiological water quality is now available as an evidence-based decision parameter. In addition, real-time alerts can be sent when defined bacterial contamination limits are exceeded.

The ColiMinder reliably detects any type of contamination, whether it is of fecal or microbial origin.

Different add-on modules are available to ensure stable and reliable sampling and results, even in harsh environmental conditions.

The measured enzymatic activity of the sample provides a direct answer to the questions: “how high is the faecal contamination of the sample?” and “how high is the microbiological contamination of the sample?”

Depending on the reagent used, the measurement results are specific for the corresponding target organism.

The results not only provide direct quantitative information about the microbial contamination of the product, but shape and course of the measurement timeline also contain valuable information about the dynamics of the microbiological load and thus allow conclusions to be drawn about the causes of changes. Depending on the reagent used, the measurement results are specific for the corresponding target organism.

A recent scientific study published in Water Research shows that the ColiMinder is the most sensitive instrument available on the market for monitoring microbial quality of water. Please see: Favere, J., Waegenaar, F., Boon, N., & De Gusseme, B. (2021). Online microbial monitoring of drinking water: How do different techniques respond to contaminations in practice?, published in Water Research Journal.

The reliability of the ColiMinder has been demonstrated in several installations where the devices have been providing reliable measurement results in continuous operation since 2015.

Thanks to the sophisticated system for fully automatic cleaning and calibration, the maintenance effort is limited to refilling the consumables. Replacement of the silicone hoses is recommended every 2 years, otherwise no maintenance is required.

The ColiMinder instruments measure absolutely stable, no manual calibration is necessary as the instruments calibrate themselves automatically at regular intervals.

The ColiMinder can measure any type of sample without pre-treatment.

It has no problem with suspended solids or turbid samples. Even fluctuating background fluorescence has no effect on the measurement result. 

It has an IP65 protected housing and can measure in the 0°C to 40°C temperature range. 

The ColiMinder provides operational monitoring as recommended by the WHO, the EU Drinking Water Directive, and others.

Real-time measurement of current microbiological quality enables rapid response and correction, so the ColiMinder helps you to meet specified limits at the lowest cost and with the highest level of safety.

A correlation between standard lab results and ColiMinder results can be established and used internally but the system is not intended to replace compliance testing.

In contrast to classical culture-based laboratory methods, which are based on the cultivation of bacteria, the enzymatic measurement method of the ColiMinder is based on the direct measurement of the metabolic activity of the target organisms. There is therefore no direct and generally valid conversion between the two methods.

In general, however, a correlation table can be created through comparative measurements, which can then be used for conversion.


Are you looking to improve your water quality monitoring process?

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