State Water Resources Research Institute Program


Project ID: 2007AL63B
Title: Development of a Cost Effective Methodology for In-field Screen Testing of Water Quality
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: Third
Focus Categories: Surface Water, Water Quality
Keywords: Water Quality, Monitoring, Bacteria, Biomonitoring, Contamination, Lakes, Rivers, Pollutants
Principal Investigators: Cheng, Zhongyang (Auburn University); Feng, Yucheng (); Huang, Tung-shi
Federal Funds: $ 24,997
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 51,174
Abstract: Due to the importance of water quality and the complexity of the problem, the US EPA has implemented many technologies for monitoring water quality. For example, the EPA recommends E. coli as the best indicator of health quality standards and therefore, should be monitored accordingly. However, all the technologies recommended by the EPA are laboratory-based and require trained personnel. The water samples must be delivered to a lab from various sample sites within 6 hours on ice and the analysis includes a 24-hour incubation period. In order to test water quality in a real-time manner, it is believed that biosensors would be a strong candidate. There have been many types of biosensors developed or are currently under development. However, to date there is no biosensor/methodology suitable for in-field screen testing of water quality. This project proposes to develop a methodology for monitoring water quality in a real-time manner that will be ideal for in-field screen testing. The device/system will be easy to operate so that any one who can use a cell phone can run it. More importantly, the methodology will be cost effective. The portable interrogating system, which has a long lifetime and can be used for many years, would only cost a couple of hundred dollars. The sensors (magnetostrictive particles or MSPs immobilized with a receptor, such as antibody), which are disposable and environmentally friendly, would only cost a few cents per test.

This project proposes to develop a prototype device for detecting E. coli and Salmonella bacteria as well as other pathogenic bacteria in surface water using the MSP-technology.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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