ATP Measurement as a Means for Directly Estimating Active Biomass

Silvana Velten, Frederik Hammes, Markus Boller and Thomas Egli
Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
Publication Date: 2007


An important step in the treatment of drinking water is the removal of Biodegradable Dissolved Organic Carbon (BDOC). The active microbial biomass established on Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters, rapid sand filters and/or slow sand filters used during water treatment is largely responsible for removing BDOC compounds present in water. To evaluate the efficiency of DOC removal and the overall performance of GAC filters, it is necessary to determine the amount of active biomass present on the filter. Because ATP is present in all active microorganisms, monitoring ATP levels can be useful for predicting the active biomass content. Here we describe a method using the BacTiter-Glo™ Assay to measure ATP directly on GAC without prior removal of the biofilm.

Promega Notes 97, 1–17.

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