Water quality testing and monitoring is about to get a major upgrade thanks to a promising new company based out of Ontario, Canada. Bringing together the use of mobile, nanotechnology and predictive software, ExactBlue Inc. has just released a new device enabling users to screen their own water for unsafe levels of microbial contamination. This disruptive technology offers a quick and easy solution to water testing that is able to detect 50 times more bacteria and fungi than the traditional laboratory method. But why does this group of scientists and engineers care so much about this? Because they are passionate about water quality.
With aging infrastructure, an increase in industrial waste and agricultural run-off as well as poor sanitation practices and climate change, water contamination levels have been on the rise in rural villages and larger cosmopolitan cities across the globe. While high levels of contamination are a liability for businesses that rely on a clean water supply, the more immediate threat is to public health. In fact, almost half the population of Africa suffers from waterborne diseases (WWF) simply by ingesting small amounts of contaminated water. Tragically, it is our children who are most susceptible to these illnesses.
The current process of detecting water contamination is cumbersome, time-consuming and based on technology that is decades old. More concerning is that laboratories that rely on the traditional plate count method only detect 1% of all bacteria, leaving consumers in the dark about 99% of possible water-contaminating bacteria. Even scarier? Those people are the lucky ones. Many people across the African continent don’t have any access to testing facilities at all.
With a goal to make accurate water testing available to everyone on the planet, the ExactBlue team created a solution to provide users with the ability to test their own water, whenever and wherever they want. Using the handheld device, no bigger than a computer mouse, users prepare the water sample, insert the vial into the device and read the test results displayed on the ExactBlue Smartphone app. With only minutes required for each procedure, consumers can retest samples, or test different sites in a fraction of the time it would take through traditional testing means.
Currently, the ExactBlue device can screen for total bacteria and fungi, including E.coli, Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa as well as chlorine. Using the software, users can track their levels of these contaminants to understand trends over time, thus creating an early warning system when relevant changes are detected. Expansion plans are already in the works to broaden their testing capabilities to include specific strains of bacteria as well as lead. New features on the horizon involve a feedback loop that offers users information on how to treat their water to make it safer to use.
The Exact Blue team recently launched a Kickstarter campaign, inviting companies, non-profit organizations and individual consumers to learn more about the new device and its water testing capabilities. For more information about ExactBlue Inc. or to become an early supporter of their mission, please contact Darian Petrisca at firstname.lastname@example.org or refer to the ExactBlue Kickstarter page: http://ks.exactblue.com.