Virology and laser technology to help monitor water quality

Submitted on Mon, 10/22/2018 - 09:37

A joint project of Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere is developing new virological and laser technology methods to be used in the quality control of drinking water.
The projects received €490,000 from the Future Makers Programme where the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation and the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation allocated €3.2 million to fund seven research projects that investigate issues vital for the future of humankind.

The microbiological quality of water has traditionally been monitored with microbial culture methods whose problem is slowness, which means that illnesses are often the first sign of contaminated drinking water.
“We aim to rapidly detect bacteria and viruses in drinking water. If detrimental microbes were detected more quickly, protection and purification measures could be started immediately,” says Associate Professor Juha Toivonen, the principal investigator of the project.

Faster warning methods would be of great importance worldwide. It is estimated that polluted drinking water annually causes some 1.8 deaths in the world. Finland has high-quality water-related expertise and technology. The project will further strengthen the position of Finland as an expert on clean water and water know-how.

From the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences at the University of Tampere, Professor Heikki Hyöty and Doctoral Researchers Sami Oikarinen and Kirsi-Maarit Lehto participate in the study.