Analytical system for quick on-site identification and measurement of drinking water

Analytical system for quick on-site identification and measurement of drinking water

The DITABIS AG performs together with the project partners Fraunhofer IME, Forschungszentrum Jülich, the StädteRegion Aachen, the health department Institute for Water and waste water analytic - IWA GmbH, the Stadtwerke Aachen AG (STAWAG) and the Agency for Technical Relief (THW), Bonn a support project. The total subsidy amount is 1.3 million EURO. The term is from August 2015 to July 2018.


Drinking water is our most important food and is controlled with strict and often. Nevertheless, it always comes back to situations where contamination with pathogens cannot be excluded. For example by floods or earthquakes. Moreover, bioterrorist attack scenarios are possible because utilities represent a potential attack target due to area-wide infrastructure and central supply locations. Established analyses are laboratory based, costly and time-consuming. Currently no reliable and sensitive rapid test method can be used on site.

Objectives and approach

The aim of this network is to develop a new type of a mobile analysis system. You can use it to examine impurities in the drinking water. Pathogens and toxins are tied to chemically pretreated magnetic nanoparticles, which are relatively easy to detect. Due to this innovative detection method harmful substances are identified reliably so that protective measures and countermeasures can initiated quickly.

Innovation and Perspectives

With the new AquaNANO-analysis method it's possible to identify contaminated drinking water within minutes.
This is almost a real-time monitoring, which is essential necessary for a rapid response to contamination. Currently used laboratory tests will need hours to days. The system should be realized in the form of a compact device which can be used locally by water companies or organizations.

Link to AquaNANO