Bacteria detection


Detection of bacterial growth in industrial piping systems is of outermost importance in many applications, ranging from cooling towers to food production. Indeed, a reliable indication on microbiological development helps to prevent many important issues (microbial corrosion, proliferation of pathogens, etc).

Lab analyses (e.g. plate count) are of limited use, since they: 

  • require a long time to provide results (usually 24 - 72 hours);
  • give only a partial information about the amount of bacteria really present, since less than 1% of them grow in lab conditions; 
  • are conducted on samples of water, but most bacteria live attached to surfaces (forming biofilm), not free in the water. Once the first microorganisms coming from the water bulk settle on a surface, starting to form biofilm, the development of this bacterial slime is almost completely unrelated to the amount of bacteria in the water. Indeed, the settled ones duplicate themselves.

Bacteria detection kits are a possible alternative, able to provide some results in a shorter time. Unfortunately, these results do not always give an idea of the actual amount of bacteria in the piping system, for example if they are applied to water samples, as illustrated above. Moreover, bacteria detection kits do not run automatically (they require an operator), and they do not provide a real time, online indication of bacterial growth.


Bacteria detection devices


Without an online, real-time bacteria detection device, able to monitor microbiological growth since its first phases, it is difficult to obtain a reliable measurement of the actual microbiological growth in an industrial system or production process.

ALVIM Biofilm Probes help to detect and monitor bacterial settlement and growth inside water lines, tanks, and other surfaces in contact with water and liquids allowing to check, at the same time, the efficacy of CIP, sanitation and biocide treatments.

For more info, read our white paper on bacteria detection, visit the ALVIM Biofilm Sensors page, or Contact us!

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