What happens to the water samples?

Analyses on site and in the lab

Every day that Andreas Fath swims the Tennessee River, water samples will be taken by the team. They will be tested for multiple parameters including redox potential, pH value, conductivity, temperature and dissolved oxygen. Additionally, the quantity of microplastics will be analyzed by random sampling.

Some of the measurements can be evaluated on site. More complex tests will be carried out in the labs of Furtwangen University and those of their “Tenneswim” project partners (for example, the testing for heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, nickel, chrome and cadmium).


The Tennessee River – one big sewer?

A lot of waste is washed into the river

Fluorinated industrial chemicals (such as PFOS and PFOA) taken from the daily samples will be analyzed using a normed process at the Water Technology Centre in Karlsruhe. Softeners (such as Diisisononylphthalat) from the daily samples will be analyzed at HFU at the end of the swimming phase of the project.

Technologiezentrum Wasser

From drugs to artificial sweeteners

What substances are there in the Tennessee River?

Samples taken constantly via a microfabric that is attached to the swimmer will be analyzed for over 600 different substances. These include pesticides and biocides (such as Isoproturon, Diuron, and DEET), drugs (such as codeine, methadone, and amphetamines), pharmaceuticals (such as antibiotics, painkillers, beta blockers, and antidepressants), artificial sweeteners (such as cyclamate and saccharine) and corrosion inhibitors (such as benzotriazole).