Towards a water-wise world Annual report 2014

Assembling existing methods increases efficiency  

Multicomponent analyses for Het Waterlaboratorium

8 March 2014Research

In 2014 preparations have begun to conduct lab specialties for Het Waterlaboratorium (HWL). “KWR satisfies the performance characteristics we look for,” says Adrie Krom, responsible for the drinking water laboratory’s chemical analysis outsourcing. “It is the knowledge institute to have analyse the presence of difficult-to-test substances.” The analyses will begin in 2015.

Previously, HWL had the analysis of the Rhine and Meuse river waters done by the German Technologiezentrum Wasser (TZW). “In the Lab Managers’ Consultations, in which all drinking water laboratories and KWR are represented, we agreed that it would be preferable to have the work outsourced within the Netherlands.” KWR submitted a competitive tender, and HWL decided to enter a long-term relationship with the institute. HWL uses the research results to test the standards for toxic substances, to report to its parent companies, and, through multi-annual research, to discern possible trends.

“KWR is the knowledge institute to have analyse difficult-to-test substances”

Difficult-to-test substances

The assignment involves lab specialties, such as the analysis of emerging substances, which are substances that are new to the drinking water sector. “These substances have only very recently been described in the literature,” says Krom. “But, thanks to their knowledge and techniques, the people at KWR can respond to them quickly.” HWL itself disposes of a broad range of analytical techniques, but has sometimes to step aside when an extremely specialised technique is called for since the sample size is too small for it to conduct efficient measurements. In addition, HWL wants to have analyses carried out into difficult-to-test substances, such as some pesticides (e.g., chlorothalonil) and narcotics, like barbiturates.

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Measuring as efficiently as possible

In 2014, in the run-up to the actual research, KWR is carrying out the necessary preparations. “We have had discussions with HWL to harmonise everything as much as possible,” says Annemieke Kolkman, team leader of KWR’s chemical laboratory. “And we’ve looked at how we can carry out the analyses as efficiently as possible. We have, for instance, assembled the methods that detect the separate substances, so that they can be measured in single go using a multicomponent analysis. For KWR this assignment means we can further broaden our expertise.” The first water samples with be analysed in January 2015. On an annual basis, several hundred samples will be analysed.

© 2017 KWR Watercycle Research Institute

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