Biological background

Technological background

Recognizable microorganisms

Images, generated by Waterscope


Biological background

The examination of water by microscopy is an ancent method. To know what organisms are in water is very important especially in surface water like sea water, brakish water or fresh water; in drinking water as well. On the base of knowing the microscopic organisms in water the ecological quality, status can be determined. The more diverse is the composition of fito plankton or zoo plankton the more healthy is the water quality in the questionable surface water. The water pollution caused by human beings has resulted the eutrophication which means a huge amount of the nutrients piled up in waters good for fito plankton proliferation. More and more algal blooms occur worldwide when only a few or one-two main taxa cause huge biomass especially toxin producing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) or dynoflagellates. Such quality of surface water makes  impossible to use them as a drinking water source water or recreational use like bathing, swimming or in fish ponds to produce healthy fish flesh. Presently the physical and chemical parameters of water quality are measured on-line continuously however the biological components of water can be determined manually, time consuming mode like microscopy. WaterScope makes the microscopical procedure automatically, makes images of plankton organisms, classifies  and enumerates them automatically. It makes possible to send early warning signals when potentially toxic  microorganisms appear in water.

Technological background

How it works?

WaterScope represents a new approach in the field of microscopy using a volumetric analysis method instead of the conventional 2D approach, providing explicitly more data and making the testing process resource and time efficient. WaterScope not simply provides an image on the features of the several taxa of microorganisms present in the water but automatically classifies them and reports on their concentration as well. The database created by WaterScope provides information on the water quality in real time thus enabling immediate intervention in case of any anomaly. It applies novel 3D imaging tool. This method increases the inspection volume with two orders of magnitude. During the microbiological analysis of a flow, WaterScope takes holographic pictures. From each of these samples, it can reconstruct 100 2D pictures instead of a single one as a conventional microscope based process would do. WaterScope is equipped with RGB lasers and a digital camera. Samples are directly gained from the water flow and are ready to process without any additional preparation. As the sample passes by the camera the holographic pictures are taken. The central computer of the device compares each reconstructed picture with its database to identify the organisms found in the water. Based on the microorganisms’ size, morphology and colour the system is able to identify, count and classify organisms from 5 µm to 300 µm. The user-friendly interface serves to visualise the results and also sends immediate alarm in case of exceeding limits. As the flow is going continuously through the device WaterScope is able to provide information on the water quality even at every 20 minutes. The central computer stores the pictures and the statistics and generates reports automatically, which via Internet connection are accessible even remotely. WaterScope has been designed to communicate easily with existing water monitoring systems.”

Recognizable microorganisms

Recognizable microorganisms in our WaterScope Micro (5-150) database
I. Database ready and classification is good
1. Centrales
2. Nitzschia_acicularis
3. Nitzschia_palea
4. Coelastrum
5. Oocystis
6. Monoraphidium
7. Scenedesmus
8. Schroederia
9. Tetraedron_caudatum
10. Pediastrum
11. Euglena_proxima
12. Euglena_pisciformis
13. Cyanobacteria_coenobia

II. Database is ready and classification is under development
1. Aulacoseria
2. Ankistrodesmus_fusiformis
3. Tetraedron_minimum
4. Tetrastrum
5. Anabaena_circinalis
6. Anabaena_sp.
7. Aphanizomenon_flos-aquae
8. Cylindrospermopsis_raciborskii
9. Planktolyngbya_contorta
10. Planktolyngbya limnetica
11. Microcystis

III. New taxons possible to include based on request

Recognizable microorganisms in our Waterscope Mono (large organisms) database
1. Nematodes (Adenophorea)
2. Rotifers(Monogononta)

Images, generated by Waterscope

Cyanobacteria – Blue-green algae


Euglena sp

Ceratium sp

Dinobryon sp

Green algae




1, Is the device indeed capable of detecting the shape and color of algae?
Yes, we are not only capable of detecting and classifying algae by their shape but also by their color.

2, Can WaterScope detect two organisms behind one another?
Yes, provided if they are not touching each other.

3, Is each of the devices suitable for measuring in color?
No, color pictures can only be produced by WaterScope Micro.

4, What is the difference between Micro and Mono?
The Mono is taking black and white pictures and the size ranges of recognized microorganisms are 50 µm-300 µm. The Micro is taking colorful pictures and the recognized microorganisms are 5 µm-150 µm.

5, Is WaterScope suitable for differentiating between living and dead organisms?
Yes to a certain extent provided that the difference between living and dead organisms can be traced back to a certain visible parameter (such as changes in color or even in shape).

6, Is the device suitable for detecting and identifying bacteria?
No, the device is only suitable for identifying certain formed colonial (e.g. filamentous) bacteria, such as iron or cyanobacteria.

7, Is Legionella identified by WaterScope?
No, because the size of Legionella is beyond of WaterScope size range.

8, Can Cryptosporidium and Giardia be identified by WaterScope?
According to theirs sizes yes but the exact identification can only be happened by fluorescence painting. Currently this model is under development.

9, Which taxons identified by WaterScope Micro?

10, Which taxons identified by WaterScope Mono?

11, On what basis the devices identify the organisms in water?
Based on a pre-installed and structured database. It instantly compares the reference pictures of the database with the measurements and this way it can identify the different organisms living in water. The database can be expanded, even online if proper internet connection is available.

12 What are the ways to access the measurement results?
Online, if there is internet access or offline by connecting to the device and downloading the information.

13, Does water quality have an impact on measuring?
Yes, if it is airy or too contaminated measuring slows down and will produce inaccurate values. Only in the case of adequate transparency is the device suitable for measuring.

14, How the measurement results displayed?
Mainly in graphic format with indicating the name and count of the different species.

15, What is the size of the laser beam?
With regard to the measurements and the technology the diameter of the laser beam has no significance.

16, How many times per hour the laser switches on?
In average, it flashes every second.

17, What conditions are to be met for the operation of WaterScope Mono?
There is a need for a water sampling point where the inlet flow is continuous and the outlet runs free (e.g. into the sewage network). Beyond this, there is also a need for a 230 V socket and, if needed, for setting up an internet connection.

18, What conditions are to be met for the operation of WaterScope Micro?
– There is a need for a water sampling point where the inlet flow is continuous and analyzed sample should be collected or continuous outlet should be provided.
– At the table-top Waterscope Micro the different samples should be changed manually. Providing the homogeneity of samples magnetic stirrer should be used. Between each sample cleaning procedure should be taken. The analyzed sample should be collected or free outlet can be used.

19, What maintenance requirements apply to the device?
There is no need for daily maintenance, the cell or the glass of the cell is to be cleaned depending on water quality.

20, What is the difference from competitor’s (e.g. Fluid Imaging) technology? What is the most important difference?
A FlowCam technology cannot make classification. It is able to make pictures but cannot identify taxons and neither classifies the pictures. It is just making size classifications.