BactoSense from bNovate used to analyze springs on Mount Fuji

27 October 2023 12:24

CleantechAlpsGreater Geneva Bern

Ecublens - Swiss hydrologists are analyzing the drinking water obtained from springs on Mount Fuji in Japan. With BactoSense from bNovate, changes in the microbial composition of the drinking water wells can be continuously monitored.

Sources of drinking water on Japan’s highest mountain are being monitored by Swiss hydrologists. According to a press release, the BactoSense control system developed by bNovate Technologies SA from Ecublens in the canton of Vaud is being used on Mount Fuji, or Fujiyama as the famous mountain is sometimes called. In total, 2.2 billion tons of rain and snow seep through the complex lava gaps of Mount Fuji every year. Eventually, this becomes clean spring and well water. A team led by Professor Oliver Schilling is working to understand the development and behavior of the aquifer in the region to ensure its protection. To this end, BactoSense is also used.

Professor Schilling is an Assistant Professor for Hydrogeology at the University of Basel and head of the Tracer Hydrogeology group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). He and his team combine innovative measurement techniques of natural markers with sophisticated mathematical models to understand the complex hydrogeology of Mount Fuji's volcanic groundwater system. For this, bacteria are used as hydrological tracers and the BactoSense control device is deployed, which automatically detects microbial parameters and bacterial contamination.

“We continuously monitor the changes in the microbial composition in the drinking water well with BactoSense”, comments Professor Schilling. Springs and wells are also investigated for a multitude of hydrological tracers, including microbial eDNA (environmental DNA). The samples are then analyzed using BactoSense and on the basis of next-generation sequencing.

The project is a collaborative effort between the groups headed up by Professor Schilling from the University of Basel and Professor Yuji Sano of Kochi University in Japan. ce/gba 

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