SYMBIO – protecting water intakes against sudden contamination
The idea of bioindication
Bioindication is a method which applies living organisms to detect environmental contaminants. The idea has been known from the dawn of history – ancient Romans used trout to control water quality. Miners kept canaries in coal mines, which provided information about the quality of air underground.
Although bioindicators did not deliver information on the type or the intensity ofexposure, their unusual behavior provided general informationabout water or air contamination.
In our system we incorporated the fresh water mussel – Unio tumidus, whose natural reaction to sudden changes of environment parameters is shell closing. This reaction is fast and unambiguous – a group of mussels close their shells. What is more, the mussels live a sedentary lifestyle, which makes it easy to monitor them.
We monitor the water for 8 milion people
Map of SYMBIO Biomonitoring System installations
How the system works
The system uses fresh water mussels whose natural reaction to sudden changes of environment parameters is shell closing. The methods incorporating living organisms to provide information on the quality of the environment around them are called bioindication methods, and the organisms are called bioindicators.
Mussels used in SYMBIO Biomonitoring System (Unio tumidus –our native species) meet all the requirements for bioindicators: their reaction to sudden changes of the environment quality (shell closing) is fast, unambiguous, and easy to observe and record. What is more, their living conditions and lifestyle enable us to continuously monitor their behavior in laboratory conditions. Mussels’ reaction does not provide information on the type or concentration of pollutants, but their sudden shell closing indicates changes in the environment – changes in water parameters – which they consider as harmful and dangerous.
In case of sudden chemical contamination of water the system will generate an alarm signaled:
- on computer screen
- through loudspeakers
- by a signaling lamp
The controller is integrated with the tank. Its role is to process the data and send it to the computer, as well as generate alarms in case of computer or software breakdown.
Computer – software
The role of computer software is to visualize and file data and provide reports. It enables evaluation of current system operationand keeping track of mussels’ activity in the past. Line graphs illustrate the current degree of each mussel’s openness (water sampling is carried out every second). Line graphs illustrate mussels’ activity in the past, and bar graphs present the current degree of mussels’ openness.
- linear chart
- bar chart
Routine maintenance necessary for the SYMBIO Biomonitoring System’s proper and dependable work, such as collecting biological material, its transport and acclimatization, as well as servicing the system (installing mussels, cleaning the tank, etc.) is part of PROTE’s activity.
Attestations, certificates and awards
- CE Mark–quality certificate – CE declaration of conformity. SYMBIO Biomonitoring System meets requirements of the 89/336/EEC directive with all its changes and additions
- Honorable Mention in the Pantheon of Polish Ecology contest at Poznań International Ecological Fair POLEKO 2009 for SYMBIO Biomonitoring System –early warning system of water intakes contamination
- Award of the Promotional Emblem TERAZ POLSKA Committee in 2008 in the best product category for SYMBIO Biomonitoring System
- Gold Medal of Water and Sewerage Infrastructure Fair in Kielce 2008 for SYMBIO Biomonitoring System
- Gold Medal of Poznań International Ecological Fair POLEKO 2004 for SYMBIO Biomonitoring System
Articles about SYMBIO
SYMBIO Biomonitoring System offered by PROTE has become very popular in the media and has been widely used for marketing purposes. Maintaining its basic function – monitoring water intakes –the system improves the Company’s image at the same time.
Below you will find articles about SYMBIO:
- EXPEREESS 20.11.2010 "Ryby, małże, a teraz bakterie dbają o łódzką kranówkę",
- ŹRÓDEŁKO issue 70 January-March 2009 "Nowy Biomonitoring na Straszynie - Małże na etacie",
- Gazeta Wyborcza 05.07.2008 "Małże na straży czystości wody",
- Вода России, May 2008, issue 5 (196) "Двустворчатые моллюски будут контролировать качество питьевой воды для екатеринбуржцев" - „Małże będą kontrolować jakość wody pitnej dla mieszkańców Jekaterinburga",
- EKOLOGIA Specjalistyczne pismo branży ekologicznej issue 4/41/2007 "Kontrola i poprawa jakości wody do picia",
- WODOCIĄGI I KANALIZACJA Miesięcznik Ogólnopolski issue 5/27/2006 "Skuteczne rozwiązania dla Przedsiębiorstw Wodociągowych - preparat fosforanowy SeaQuest oraz System Biomonitoringu SYMBIO",
- POLSKI INSTALATOR September 2003 "Biologiczna kontrola jakości wody – system biomonitoringu SYMBIO".
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