Microbial testing in cooling water system industry - Water and Wastewater

Superior reliability for superior control! Biocide treatments are essential to control microbiological growth in cooling systems. If not properly managed, the warm environments of cooling systems are ideal for the growth of microorganisms. As microorganism communities grow in cooling systems, they can attach to pipe walls and form biofilms. These biofilms pose serious risks, from human health risks like Legionnaire`s disease to reduced operating efficiency and eventually to equipment failure via microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC).

Fortunately, there are many tools available to help you manage your microbiological growth control initiatives. A central tool is LuminUltra's Quench-Gone Aqueous (QGA) test kit, which is a fast, portable and accurate test that measures total microorganisms in recirculating cooling water streams. Use QGA to help optimize disinfectant feed, to guide cooling system cleaning cycles, and to periodically audit cooling systems and identify the microbial build-up that precedes biofilm formation. When it comes to cooling system management, LuminUltra's QGA test is the ideal tool to help save time & money and reduce risk!

Traditional measurements used to manage microorganism growth control include disinfectant residuals and plate counts. Residuals are a useful guide to determine the 'reach' of the disinfectant, but are not applicable for non-oxidizing biocides or to localized treatment processes (i.e. ultrasonic, ultraviolet). Furthermore, the maintenance of a disinfectant residual does not confirm good microbial control – a microbial measurement is required for verification.

Plate counts and other culture-based tests have long been used to monitor microorganisms in cooling systems. Although they are advantageous when measuring specific microorganism, plate counts are not ideal for operational guidance because they require days of incubation to provide feedback.

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the central energy carrier for all forms of life and diagnostic kits to measure ATP have been used for decades as an operational guidance tool in cooling systems. These 1st Generation ATP tests were however prone to many interferences and inaccuracies, including dead microorganisms, residual disinfectants, dissolved solids, free oil, arbitrary RLU reporting, and imprecise sampling.

The LuminUltra Difference ensures accurate results by:

  • Using precise syringe-based sampling.
  • Achieving complete ATP extraction.
  • Neutralizing interferences, like dissolved solids, disinfectants, and free oil.
  • Separating living microorganisms from dead microorganism ATP.
  • Using an ATP standard for RLU conversion.

No longer will you be left wondering if the microbial indicators you use for management of your cooling system are providing reliable results! LuminUltra's QGA test kit is fully optimized to function in any cooling system, from the most meticulously managed power station cooling system to commercial installations.

QGA also provides the benefits of high sensitivity, adjustable measurement range, on-site sample stabilization, function with any photomultiplier tube luminometer, and accurate indication of total living microorganisms in a single test – no more separate Total and Free ATP measurements!

ATP-based tests have long been criticized for lacking precision because of interference from dead microorganisms. Since microorganisms release their ATP content upon death, 'Total ATP' tests are not able to distinguish between living and dead microorganisms. QGA is optimized to remove the interference from dead microorganisms and measure ATP associated only with the living biomass using a single measurement. For deposit and biofilm measurements, LuminUltra supplies the Deposit & Surface Analysis (DSA) add-on kit.

Microbiological threats are best addressed in their early stages of growth. The real-time feedback and full portability of QGA allows operators to identify, address, and validate threats during the same shift! And, at only dollars per test, QGA provides you with an affordable compliment to your existing microbiological measurement programs that helps you save time & money and reduce risks!