Measurement of Biofilm Thickness: An Effective Legionella Risk Assessment Tool
By Nicole Merlet; Guénolé Chaussec; Sergueï Martemianov; Bernard Tribolet; Wolfgang Hater; Christophe Foret
Jun. 9, 2010
The best way to prevent the risk of bacterial growth in water systems is to monitor and to control the microorganisms (biofilm) attached to pipe walls. Three years of laboratory research led 2 CNRS teams (UMR 6008 and UPR 15) to develop a tool designed to determine the average biofilm thickness. The average biofilm thickness measurements carried out on pilot plants fed with natural water were sufficiently accurate and sensitive to monitor the formation and development of biofilm in a water system and to determine the efficiency of the applied treatments.
The implementation of appropriate treatments (type and dose of the treatment product) leads to a significant reduction or even complete removal of the porous layer on the material surface. The reduction of the attached biomass, measured by the sensor, is connected to the decrease of the bacterial density attached to the material (viable flora in PCA environment).