The award ceremony of the Mülheim Water Award 2020 took place on 16th September 2020 during the 4. Mülheimer Wasseranalytisches Seminar (MWAS 2020) on the terrace of the town hall of Mülheim an der Ruhr in compliance with the Corona restrictions.

The laudators were Prof. Dr. Torsten C. Schmidt as representative of the jury and Dr. Franz-Josef Schulte as representative of the sponsors of the Mülheim Water Award.

The award was given to the project:

Rapid test for Escherichia coli in drinking water: development, validation and regulatory approval

It is a new method for the detection of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in routine analysis that does not rely on the protracted cultivation of bacteria in cultures. The award-winning analytical method is based on a molecular biological approach, the propagation and analysis of bacteriological genetic material (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, RT-PCR). With only four hours, it takes less than a quarter of the time required to produce and analyse bacteria grown in culture. The RT-PCR method is also highly sensitive, i.e. it reacts to a low bacterial load.

The winners have developed their method and successfully established it in drinking water analysis laboratory practice.

Award ceremony 2020 on the terrace of the town hall of Mülheim an der Ruhr.
f.l.t.r.: Eberhard Gerstel (Gerstel), Rik de Vries (WLN Wasserlaboratorium), Liesbeth Visser (Aqualab-Zuid), Holger Gerstel (Gerstel), Franz-Josef Schulte (RWW) and Leo Heijnen (KWR)

The project was carried out by a team of scientists from the KWR Water Research Institute and specialists from Dutch drinking water laboratories WLN, Vitens Laboratorium, Het Waterlaboratorium and Aqualab-Zuid. Representing the team, Leo Heijnen from KWR, Liesbeth Visser from Aqualab-Zuid and Rik de Vries from the WLN Water Laboratory accepted the prize.

Here are a few impressions of the award ceremony: