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TZW: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (German Water Centre)

Upper organisation
DVGW - German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water
Non-Profit Organisation

Karlsruher Strasse 84
76139 Karlsruhe


TZW develops scientifically founded solutions for all aspects of the water supply. Customers are water suppliers, industrial companies, specialist authorities and universities. Interdisciplinary teams are experts working in the areas of environmental biotechnology and contaminated sites, groundwater and soil, analysis and water quality, technology and economics, microbiology and molecular biology, water chemistry research, the test centre and corrosion as well as distribution networks and household installations. The sustainable protection of water resources and innovative solutions for drinking water supply are the core of the daily work.


The areas include:


TZW experts address all drinking water treatment matters, working on the basis of scientific contexts and taking into account technical and operational aspects in view of technical regulations. Economically viable solutions are devised that offer a high degree of supply reliability. Particular importance is given to the development of new technologies, the adaptation and optimisation of existing treatment systems and processes, and the creation of drinking water supply concepts.  Treatment technologies: TZW



  • Physical-chemical and microbiological testing for customers in accordance with legal regulations such as the German Drinking Water Ordinance or the Water Framework Directive.
  • Quantitative determination of inorganic and organic micropollutants using modern and high-performance methods of analysis and instruments in the most diverse matrices (drinking water, groundwater, surface water, waste water, sewage sludge, soil, suspended matter and sediments).
  • Continuous development and improvement of methods of trace analysis for both water and solid samples. We are accredited according to DIN EN ISO 17025 for the testing of drinking water, untreated water, groundwater and surface water.
  • Microbiological detection methods range from the specific detection of indicator organisms or pathogens to the enrichment of large volumes of water to improve the sensitivity of the detection methods to the analysis of microbial substances such as AOC (assimilable organic carbon).
  • Latest molecular biological methods to quickly identify species or microorganisms and to determine antibiotic resistance genes.



  • Findings on the behaviour of “new” or previously unknown micropollutants in aquatic systems and particularly in drinking water treatment
  • Removal of substances using specific water treatment methods (imulation of aerobic bank filtration, oxidative degradation during ozonation, ozonation coupled with bioactive or biosorptive treatment steps, adsorptive removal using activated carbon)
  • Clarification of transformation products from micropollutants in technical water treatment and natural degradation processes
  • Cutting-edge methods to clarify microbiological contamination sources and to assess evidence of “new” microorganisms [assessment of microbiological findings (E. coli, coliform bacteria, enterococci) in drinking water and assessment of microbiological findings (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella) in drinking water installations, detection and evaluation of pathogens (e.g. Campylobacter, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Legionella), identification and assessment of faecal contamination sources (microbial source tracking), detection and evaluation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes, detection and evaluation of viruses]
  • Solutions and concepts using analytical process engineering laboratory testing under practical conditions for support and the targeted testing of the latest 

          Micropollutants and microorganisms: TZW



  • Microbiological environmental aspects to improve water quality
  • Natural and stimulated biological degradation processes
  • Microbiological decontamination concepts at contaminated sites
  • Concept formulation for monitored and enhanced natural attenuation
  • Degradability of new pollutants
  • Innovative decontamination concepts by using new degradation pathways
  • Combination of technical and biological methods

          Contaminated sites: TZW



  • Risk management according to EN 15975-2
  • Identification, elimination or reduction of water contamination, caused, for example, by agriculture, bioenergy generation, commercial enterprises or by construction and infrastructure projects in water protection areas.
  • Water protection and agricultural land use (nitrate leaching, simulation models, and devise remediation concepts, energy generation from biomass and biogas)
  • Construction measures in drinking water protection areas (potential hazards, measures to preserve evidence, protect the groundwater and secure the water supply)
  • Establishing risk management systems for the drinking water catchment area
  • Groundwater monitoring and databases (Maintenance of trans-regional databases on groundwater and raw water quality, monitoring programmes and optimise measurement networks, statistical methods, geographic information systems (GIS), interpolations or groundwater modelling methods).
  • Microbiological action plans (Preparation of schedules of measures and action plans
  • Identification of faecal contamination sources (microbial source tracking)
  • Cause analysis for non-compliance of microbiological limit values in drinking water

          Risk management: TZW



  • Requirements on the drinking water network operator for providing drinking water of highest quality
  • Targeted measures to be taken to possible to exclude variations in quality during water distribution and to control and eliminate abnormalities
  • Detailed knowledge of the complex processes in the distribution system using specialist methods of analysis and concepts, including condition-based flushing of drinking water networks, assessment of corrosion inhibitors, identification of microbiological contamination points, monitoring invertebrates, multicriteria data analysis and cause analysis for corrosion damage
  • Consultation to water supply companies on all aspects of drinking water quality assurance in the distribution system and support in the development of specific network management strategies.

          Network management and drinking water installation: TZW



  • Hygienic and microbiological testing
  • Pipes and fittings in water distribution and drinking water installations
  • Systems and equipment for drinking water treatment
  • UV disinfection devices, UV sensors and UV lamps
  • Fire-fighting equipment and fire-fighting facilities

         Testing of products and devices: TZW



TZW is part of the DVGW – German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water group.

The DVGW sets the benchmark for the future of Germany’s gas and water sector – as a recognised legislator, innovative designer, sponsor and service provider with the following core tasks:

  • Technical guidelines and standardisation
  • Research and development
  • Testing and certification
  • Professional training and qualification

TZW embraces many research and knowledge clusters worldwide. TZW is an active member and key link to international working groups in the Rhine, Danube and Elbe river catchment areas. It is also a member of international water research organisations:

IAWR International Association of Waterworks in the Rhine Basin

AWBR Association of Waterworks – Lake Constance/Rhine

ARW Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Rhein-Wasserwerke e.V.

RIWA Association of River Water Companies

IAWD International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area

Global Water Research Coalition

Water Europe


TZW: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (German Water Centre)

TZW: DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser (German Water Centre)

Contact Person
Dr. Josef Klinger


  • Test facilities for diverse treatment technologies on a pilot and laboratory scale
  • Test methods to test the quality of filtering materials
  • Online measurement devices to monitor pilot and industrial scale plants (turbidity, particles, nanoparticles)



Methods of analysis for representatives of the following substance groups:

  • Trace elements and metals
  • Bromide, bromate, chlorite, chlorate, iodide, iodate and perchlorate
  • Speciation of arsenic, chromium and selenium
  • Pesticides and metabolites (more than 100 single substances including glyphosate, AMPA, N,N-dimethyl sulphamide, desphenyl chloridazon, other PSM metabolites)
  • Aromatic sulfonates
  • Chelating agents
  • Pharmaceutical residues (more than 100 single substances)
  • Iodinated X-ray contrast agent/s
  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (steroidal hormones, alkyl phenols)
  • Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • Aliphatic amines
  • Nitrosamines
  • Biocides
  • Benzotriazoles
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Chlorinated and brominated flame retardants
  • Organophosphonic acids
  • Nitrification inhibitors
  • Surrogate parameters (DOC, TOC, AOX, AOS, AOF, EOF, TOP-assay)

Range of microbiological detection methods:

  • Detection of indicator bacteria according to the German Drinking Water Ordinance: E. coli / coliform bacteria, Enterococci, Clostridium perfringens, colony counts 22 °C, 36 °C
  • Detection of pathogens: Pseudomonas aeruginosaLegionella, aeromonads, thermotolerant Campylobacter spp., testing for Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia, testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, detection of multiresistances using agar diffusion tests
  • Detection of bacteriophages: F-specific RNA bacteriophages, somatic coliphages
  • Enrichment methods: To rapidly enrich large volumes of water, TZW has developed practical enrichment methods that enable us to concentrate water volumes of 100 litres and more. Using this methodology, the detection sensitivity for subsequent microbiological analysis (e.g. for the indicator organisms E. coli, coliform bacteria and enterococci) can be increased by a factor of 1000. This enables distribution networks to be investigated systematically for possible contamination sources of microbiological pollutants.
  • Assimilable organic carbon (AOC) / regrowth potential: Regrowth potential, determination of AOC increase by means of chlorination, determination of AOC following various treatment stages
  • Special methods to evaluate the microbiological water quality: Determination of the total cell count (microscopic, flow cytometry), microscopic analysis of floating layers, sediments, coatings, plant cover and biofilms, problem-oriented investigations into specific bacteria groups (e.g. iron and manganese oxidisers, Crenothrix polyspora), biomass determination (e.g. ATP, protein), microbial count (colony counts and Most-Probable-Number (MPN) method): Colony counts for various media, nitrate/iron(III)/sulphate-reducing bacteria, pollutant-degrading bacteria
  • Animal organisms (invertebrates): Advice on the presence of animal organisms in water supply systems, identification and quantification of animal organisms



  • Environmental biotechnological methods (Microbial pollutant degradation in pilot scale, batch microcosms, column tests, redox conditions: aerobic, nitrate/iron(III)/sulphate-reducing, methanogenic, oxygen consumption, biological oxygen demand)
  • Molecular biological methods (DNA extraction from water and solid samples, quantitative real-time PCR, fingerprinting with DGGE, flow cytometry)
  • Microbiological methods (Microbial count, biomass determination, ecotoxicity in the luminescent bacteria inhibition test)
  • Chemical analytics (pollutant analysis, analysis of metabolism-related parameters, extensive equipment for organic and inorganic analytics (also at trace level))



Data analysis

  • Geograpical information systems
  • Data analysis, visualisation and statistical methods
  • Risk management according to EN 15975-2 for catchment areas and water abstraction
  • Numerical groundwater modeling
  • TZW simulation model INVAM for the calculation of nitrate leaching
  • Groundwater monitoring concepts
  • Operation of transregional databases with online portals

Field methods

  • Soil sampling  / Percussion core sampling
  • site inspection and hazard analysis
  • Mapping of agricultural uses by means of GPS
  • Infiltration measurements (double ring infiltrometer)
  • Groundwater sampling and monitoring
  • Contaminant transport in soil (field lysimeter)
  • Sampling of leachate by suction cups

Laboratory methods

  • Nitrate analysis, physical-chemical parameters (water)
  • Nitrate and ammonium-analysis (soil)
  • Contaminant transport in soil (laboratory lysimeter)



  • Utility vehicles with flushing device to record the deposit situation and flushing speed
  • Mobile online turbidity measuring devices for installation in the network
  • TZW software “OptFlush” to calculate flushing intervals
  • On-site bacteria enrichment systems “MikroSens”
  • Molecular biological identification procedure
  • Filtering system for enriching invertebrates
  • Algorithms for time series analysis
  • Fourier transform infra-red spectrometer (ftir spectrometer)



  • Federal Environment Agency assessment guidelines (KTW and metals)
  • Biofilm according to W 270 or DIN EN 16421
  • Protection from contamination and back-suction
  • Pressure loss test bench
  • Pressure change test bench
  • Temperature change test bench
  • Endurance test benches for sanitary tapware and other valves
  • Test benches for the effectiveness of softeners and limescale protection equipment
  • UV collimated beam devices
  • Test benches for UV lamps and sensors (optical bench, test reactors)
  • Test facility for biodosimetric testing of UV devices


Selection of Instrumentation

  • Small filter test stand: Plant for determining suitable filter materials in waterworks
  • Test equipment for filter columns
  • Mobile reverse osmosis plant for piloting in waterworks
  • Sima-Tec Laboratory Membrane Test Facility (for testing reverse osmosis membranes, for microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes)
  • Low pressure collimated beam device
  • Medium  pressure collimated beam device
  • LED based collimated beam device
  • Test train for validation - to determine disinfection efficay of UV systems by means of biodosimetry for flows between 0.05 L/min to 33 L/min ; 1 m³/h to 25m³/h;  5 m³/h to 4000 m³/h
  • Goniometer for LEDs or small sources - 3-axes goniometer for 2π-measurement of LED angular emission
  • Optical bench with LP and MP source for characterisation of UV sensors; Angular response, linearity, spectral sensitivity, and others infront of different UV sources
  • Lamp test rig DyPs - Test reactor for dynamic water parameters. E.g. lamp or ballast characterisation at different water temperatures
  • Lamp aging rig - Test reactors to research lamp aging. Includes UV sensors, thermostat and safety installations
  • Optical bench for LP and MP source -Optical benches for in-air characterisation of UV-sources
  • Various Photometer and Integrating sphere



TZW offers customers tests persuant to more than 200 different product standards, accredited according to DIN EN ISO 17025. Each product test, the detailed testing procedure and set up will be discussed and specified individually with our customers. Development of customized test programmes for products that are not yet standardised and development of pre-standardisation projects with customers.

TZW works closely with DVGW CERT GmbH as well as with other international certification companies. Furthermore, TZW is active in national and international standardisation work.

TZW is an institution of the DVGW – German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water. The DVGW sets the benchmark for the future of Germany’s gas and water sector – as a recognised legislator, innovative designer, sponsor and service provider. It undertakes the following core tasks:

  • Technical guidelines and standardisation
  • Research and development
  • Testing and certification
  • Professional training and qualification

DVGW Cert GmbH meets all the necessary certification procedures in the gas and water sector. The Test centre at TZW works closely with DVGW Cert GmbH on all product certification matters.

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