Skip to main content

An innovative system capable of monitoring and removing heavy metals, phenolic compounds and biological pollutants in drinking water

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SWaT (An innovative system capable of monitoring and removing heavy metals, phenolic compounds and biological pollutants in drinking water)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-09-30

SWaT is an innovative system capable of monitoring and removing biological pollutants in drinking water, which will provide a unique sustainable and reliable method for the drinking water quality monitoring and treatment able to detect and eliminate Legionella bacteria from drinking water. SWaT has the advantage to fastly monitor Legionella on site and almost online, accurately quantify them in 102 CFU/L, and treat them to include it below the regulation threshold limits. Furthermore, SWaT provides target users with an environmental friendly system enabling to reduce 90% usage of chemicals.
Currently, we have developed the main SWaT components, and tested in lab and relevant environment reaching Technology Readiness Level TRL 6.
The system takes the water flow in entrance and the system receives the first measure from the legionella sensor (ON-LINE), the electronic device acquires and processes the data and simultaneously governs the activation of the filter. The sterilized water from the filter comes again sampled by the Legionella Sensor, which performs a new measurement (ON-LINE) post sterilization treatment, the electronic system captures, stores and manages the information in order to perform various functions which will be integrated into the system: for example, sending any alarm messages, system management maintenance, etc. The measuring system is like a colorimetric type: the water to be analyzed is drawn and inserted into an optoelectronic cell. .
The overall objective of the project is the industrial adaptation of the combined system for monitoring and treating drinking water and its further commercialization in water monitoring and treatment industry. SWaT´s strategic commercialization plan is fully developed in strategic target countries for SWaT sales after the project´s finalization.
The work performed and the main results are:
Study of the technical feasibility:
• An analysis on the specific contaminants that SWaT will detect and limits of detection have been done, together with the determination of the most appropriate technical solutions for SWaT optimal performance. (Legionella)
• The technical requirements of the monitoring and treatment system, adapting them to final operating conditions have been identified. As a conclusion, Etatron has decided to replace the electrochemical printed sensors for Legionella, heavy metals and polyphenolic compounds with the optical Legionella nanobiosensor, and replace the UV LED/Lamp with a sanitation tool consisting of filter based on TiO2 nanoparticles activated by UV LED
• The detection limits of contaminants that SWaT will achieve have been established.
• The most suitable procedure for SWaT pilot manufacturing and validation & certification have been analysed.
• An exhaustive analysis of competitors´ products from the technical point of view have been accomplished, and the main conclusion is that there are no competitors in the market providing a system to measure and treat Legionella in real time.
• Technical risks of the SWaT project are identified and quantified in terms of occurrence probability and a mitigation & contingency approach have been established.
Study of the commercial feasibility:
• A market research have been carried out, for the identification of target markets and stakeholders and quantification of end-users.
• A Strategic Commercialization Plan have been developed, for the creation of international networks of end-users and partners, as well as a dissemination and communication plan for the project.
• A complete analysis of the legal and regulatory framework have been carried out for the target markets
• An analysis of existing patents have been performed, in order to evaluate the “freedom to operate” for our system. There are no patents similar to our SWaT system.
• A patentability analysis for SWaT have been conducted, for the optimum protection of its innovative components.
• Commercial risks have been identified, together with a mitigation & contingency plan

Study of the financial feasibility:
• A sales strategy have been defined for SWaT.
• A sales forecast for SWaT have been conducted for a 5 years´ scenario after the project.
• A cost-benefit analysis have been carried out for a 5 year´s scenario after the finalization of the project
• A cash-flow have been accomplished, with the calculation of relevant financial indicators for the analysis of the project´s results
Hotels and hospital are facilities susceptible to proliferate Legionella bacteria. Many cases of travel associated legionnaires disease in European residents are reported annually to the European surveillance scheme. Facilities in which bacteria Legionella can growth, need to ensure both drinking water and recreational water (swimming pools and spa) quality.
SWaT is the only system able to monitor online Legionella in water samples and to deliver an efficient sanitation tool for a safe water. Currently the only way to detect Legionella is to take samples to laboratories for analysis on a routine bases, which is expensive (79.84€ per sample) and time consuming. On-site measurements allowed by SWaT take only 12 hours for the quantification of the contaminants.
It will significantly reduce the use of chemical additives, currently used to remove Legionella, what will reduce the environmental impact of treatments.
SWaT is the only system integrating bionanosensing technology and treatment for biological pollutants (i.e. Legionella), to treat water rapidly, efficiently and with no need to implement more than one solution
Figure 2: Block diagrams on the system (hospitals structure)
Figure 1: Block diagrams on the system (small hotels structure)