Since a cultivation step is needed for the detection of coliform bacteria and E. coli with CCA and Colilert, final results take up to 24 h to be reported. Additionally to the cultivation duration, time for sampling and sample-processing should be taken into account. In the last decades, the development of online-monitoring devices for drinking water emerged. While chemo-physical and hydrological water quality parameters are already frequently monitored by such devices, no reliable online monitoring devices for microbiological parameters are standardized for permanent use as alternatives to cultural methods.
An automated system detecting coliform bacteria and E. coli semi-continuously based on the enzymatic activities from microLAN had evaluated. The device, called BACTcontrol, allows a detection of elevated coliform- and E. coli numbers in water within < 2 hours. Like the culture-based methods DIN EN ISO 9308-1 and DIN EN ISO 9308-2, BACTcontrol relies on the activity of the enzymes GAL for coliform bacteria and GLUC for E. coli, respectively, however without implementing a cultivation step. The aim of this Deliverable was the report on the microLAN system performance regarding the detection limit and specificity of BACTcontrol compared to the traditional cultural methods.