Dr. Anicet Blanch, a researcher at the Water Research Institute (IdRA) of the Faculty of Biology and a member of the scientific board of Bluephage, a spin-off of the University of Barcelona, was invited by the Japanese Society on Water Environment to the workshop 'Recent Progress in Microbial Safety in Water Environment', held at the University of Tokyo.
In his lecture, entitled "Environmental Water Microbiology: Bathing Waters and Microbial Source Tracking", Dr. Blanch presented the progress made in the evaluation of the microbiological quality of bathing waters. In this sense, the Research Group on Health-Related Water Microbiology (MARS) of the UB has developed a method that can reduce the time of detection of microbial contamination in water to only four hours (this test can usually take between 24 and 48 hours). For instance, this is of particular interest in monitoring the microbiological quality of bathing waters after torrential rainfall, and in order to determine when the appropriate conditions for bathing are restored in accordance with the requirements established by the regulations of the European Union. This research group has also developed a computer program called Ichnaea that allows to predict the source of faecal contamination in water in various environmental scenarios and using different specific indicators depending on the kind of source considered (Microbial Source Traking).