Exploring flow cytometry for monitoring of microbial water quality during maintenance of drinking water pipes
Faster methods of analysing microbiological quality of drinking water after pipe breaks or new pipe installations could have beneficial implications. In this article, a summary is presented of the findings in a recent master thesis about how flow cytometry and cultivation-based techniques can be used to monitor water quality in connection to maintenance works, and how flow cytometry can aid in the decision-making around putting drinking water pipes in operation. Previously, online flow cytometry has not been used to assess microbiological water quality after pipe breaks, nor has the influence of the biofilm formation process on bacteria in the bulk water been well understood. Here, it is described how online flow cytometry combined with advanced computational methods can be used to yield nuanced microbiological information. The use of flow cytometry during maintenance work will be further evaluated in the ongoing SVU project Safe and smart pipe installations.