Bringing communities closer to clean water with efficient testing kits
We may take drinking water for granted, but the quality of available water supply is unknown in many parts of the world. Testing for bacteria is time-consuming and costly. Usually, an outside organization comes in to do the testing, using heavy equipment worth thousands of pounds. It may take days or weeks for the local population to know the results. Finding ways to expedite this process means getting clean water to those in need faster.
A group of staff and students at Cambridge University have found a faster and cheaper way to test water. Led by Dr. Alexander Patto, WaterScope are using Dr Richard Bowman’s affordable 3D-printed digital microscope that delivers results in under two hours. The microscope connects to a Raspberry Pi, but can be used independently of any computer. Anyone can collect a sample of water, which the microscope filters for bacteria. Results are uploaded to a server along with GPS coordinates so they can be shared and archived. WaterScope has raised over £80,000 of non-dilutive funding to date, and has partnered with Oxfam to bring their testing kits to people who need them the most.