Water quality testing

Aquatest Research Programme

PATH is part of an international, multidisciplinary consortium led by the University of Bristol aimed at delivering a water test that can be widely used in developing countries. The Aquatest Research Programme (www.bristol.ac.uk/aquatest) was begun in 2007, and with the nine-member consortium, the Programme is working to design, develop, and create a plan for sustainable manufacturing and plan distribution and marketing for the Aquatest water-testing device.

The Aquatest Research Programme has several core tenets that drive its work:

  • Developing countries need low-cost devices to improve their water testing.
  • Water testing should be done by the people who can act to improve their water. This includes communities, households, officials responsible for water quality at the point of supply (e.g., village wells, bore holes), and water professionals.
  • Water testing will lead to improvements in the way that water investment is targeted, better ways of managing water, and better quality water.

By the end of the project in September 2012, the Aquatest Research Programme will design an effective, low-cost, water quality test that is ready for manufacturing and distribution at scale in developing countries. The hope is that the widespread use of this device will help identify unsafe water supplies, enabling governments, nongovernmental organizations, and communities to improve access to safe water.

For more information, check out the Aquatest Research Programme website.

Chlorine indicator test strips

One of the most effective and low-cost methods to make water safe is chemical disinfection with chlorine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines the safe zone for drinking water as a chlorine residual level of 0.2-2.0 parts per million (ppm). Chlorine residual levels above this range leave an unsavory taste and odor in the treated water, and too little residual chlorine will not effectively disinfect the water.

PATH worked with long-time collaborator, Cascade Designs, Inc., to identify an accurate, low-cost, easy-to-use chlorine test strip that effectively detects the safe zone and is appropriate for use in low-resource settings. Read more »

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