SYMBIO biomonitoring system

The SYMBIO biomonitoring system from the PROTE company is an early warning system against the contamination of water intended for consumption. It combines the natural, dependable bioindication method, based on living organisms called bioindica­tors, with modern technology that enables automatic water monitoring and archiving the data. SYMBIO sets the current standards for water security.

The system operates based on bioindication. Eight specimens of the freshwater mussel (Latin: Unio tu­midus), placed in the SYMBIO flow-through tank, are equipped with a probe that co-operates with a mag­net stuck to the mussel’s shell. The probe records the degree of each mussel’s openness and its natural bio­rhythm comparable to human’s ECG.

The data is sent to a controller that processes it, and further, to a computer, which visualizes and archives it, and provides reports. It enables us to evaluate the cur­rent system operation, and to keep track of the mussels’ activity in the past. Mollusks are sensitive organisms, thanks to which the water utility company, every single second, receives the information, whether the water is suitable for consumption. A sudden closure of the mussels’ shells indicates an adverse change in the pa­rameters of water. In such a case, SYMBIO generates an alarm, to which the laboratory can quickly react, taking water samples for analysis.

As SYMBIO is an online system, it can send an alarm signal to a selected e-mail address or mobile telephone number. The mussels work in the unit monitoring the water for three months. After that time, they go back to the lake from which they came, and a new set of organisms, which will monitor the quality of water for another quarter, is installed in the system.


  • One of the most efficient technologies for water monitoring, proven by years of experience of the PROTE company (50 units operating in Poland, supervision over water quality for more than 10 million people).
  • It enables a quick reaction in case an adverse change in water parameters is detected.
  • The system operation increases the sense of the security of the potable water users, and it is a commonly accepted method of water monitoring.
  • It guarantees a better perception of the image of its users, as the natural methods using living organisms are becoming more and more common and reliable.

At present, the number of operating SYMBIO bio­monitoring systems enables us to think of it as a new standard in terms of methods incorporating freshwater mussels for monitoring water intended for consump­tion, production, and technological purposes.

PROTE Technologies for our Environment LLC
Dariusz Ligocki
26 Franciszek Firlik St.
60-692 Poznań
phone: +48 61 65 55 70, mob. +48 608 632 445

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