Tag Archives: monitoring

Monitoring of Genotoxins in Drinking Water

Ames testing and use of other toxicity tests on drinking water has been proposed before. In general it is not possible to distinguish which compounds in drinking water are responsible for the toxicity. We’ve certainly known for many years that the majority of toxicity potential in drinking water can be attributed to a single compound that goes by the name of MX. General toxicity testing such as this has been debated in the past.

Ceretti E, Moretti M, Zerbini I, Villarini M, Zani C, Monarca S, Feretti D. Occurrence and Control of Genotoxins in Drinking Water: A Monitoring Proposal. Journal of public health research. 2016 Dec 21;5(3):769. doi: 10.4081/jphr.2016.769.

Many studies have shown the presence of numerous organic genotoxins and carcinogens in drinking water. These toxic substances derive not only from pollution, but also from the disinfection treatments, particularly when water is obtained from surface sources and then chlorinated. Most of the chlorinated compounds in drinking water are nonvolatile and are difficult to characterize. Thus, it has been proposed to study such complex mixtures using short-term genotoxicity tests predictive of carcinogenic activity. Mutagenicity of water before and after disinfection has mainly been studied by the Salmonella/microsome (Ames test); in vitro genotoxicity tests have also been performed in yeasts and mammalian cells; in situ monitoring of genotoxins has also been performed using complete organisms such as aquatic animals or plants (in vivo). The combination of bioassay data together with results of chemical analyses would give us a more firm basis for the assessment of human health risks related to the consumption of drinking water. Tests with different genetic end-points complement each other with regard to sensitivity toward environmental genotoxins and are useful in detecting low genotoxicity levels which are expected in drinking water samples.

Monitoring Fluoride in Water Using a Smartphone

Levin S, Krishnan S, Rajkumar S, Halery N, Balkunde P. Monitoring of fluoride in water samples using a smartphone. The Science of the Total Environment. 2016 Feb 11;551-552:101-107. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.156.

In several parts of India, groundwater is the only reliable, year round source for drinking water. Prevention of fluorosis, a chronic disease resulting from excess intake of fluoride, requires the screening of all groundwater sources for fluoride in endemic areas. In this paper, the authors present a field deployable colorimetric analyzer based on an inexpensive smartphone embedded with digital camera for taking photograph of the colored solution as well as an easy-fit, and compact sample chamber (Akvo Caddisfly). Phones marketed by different smartphone makers were used. Commercially available zirconium xylenol orange reagent was used for determining fluoride concentration. A software program was developed to use with the phone for recording and analyzing the RGB color of the picture. Linear range for fluoride estimation was 0-2mgl-1. Around 200 samples, which consisted of laboratory prepared as well as field samples collected from different locations in Karnataka, India, were tested with Akvo Caddisfly. The results showed a significant positive correlation between Ion Selective Electrode (ISE) method and Akvo Caddisfly (Phones A, B and C), with correlation coefficient ranging between 0.9952 and 1.000. In addition, there was no significant difference in the mean fluoride content values between ISE and Phone B and C except for Phone A. Thus the smartphone method is economical and suited for groundwater fluoride analysis in the field.

Tap Water Perchlorate Levels in 5 Cities, Turkey

Erdemgil Y, Gözet T, Can Ö, Ünsal İ, Özpınar A. Perchlorate levels found in tap water collected from several cities in Turkey. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2016 Mar;188(3):158. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5161-2.

Perchlorate is an inorganic anion that inhibits iodide transport to the thyroid by sodium-iodide transporters. Because perchlorate is highly soluble, stable, and mobile in water, drinking water is a potential source of perchlorate exposure. When exposed to perchlorate, thyroid dysfunction can be observed in sensitive populations (pregnant woman, infants, and children), especially those with iodide deficiency. The aim of this study was to determine the perchlorate levels in tap water from five cities in Turkey. Perchlorate concentrations of 145 tap water samples collected from Ankara, Isparta, Istanbul, Kayseri, and Sakarya were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Mean and median values were found to be 0.15 and 0.07 μg/L, respectively. The median values (25-75 % percentile) of Istanbul, Ankara, Sakarya, Isparta, and Kayseri were 0.08 μg/L (0.04-0.09 μg/L), 0.07 μg/L (0.07-0.21 μg/L), 0.04 μg/L (0.04-0.04 μg/L), 0.03 μg/L (0.02-0.07 μg/L), and 0.25 μg/L (0.23-0.31 μg/L), respectively. The median perchlorate level observed in Kayseri was significantly higher than those found at other cities (p < 0.05). Perchlorate concentrations in water samples were lower than the interim drinking water health advisory level (15 μg/L) determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This study showed that perchlorate in drinking water is not the main source of exposure in these cities. Future studies should be performed to determine perchlorate levels in other potential sources, such as food products.

Cloud-Enabled Microscopy Detects Escherichia coli in 8 hrs

Golberg A, Linshiz G, Kravets I, Stawski N, Hillson NJ, Yarmush ML, Marks RS, Konry T. Cloud-enabled microscopy and droplet microfluidic platform for specific detection of Escherichia coli in water. PloS One. 2014 Jan 27;9(1):e86341. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086341.

We report an all-in-one platform – ScanDrop – for the rapid and specific capture, detection, and identification of bacteria in drinking water. The ScanDrop platform integrates droplet microfluidics, a portable imaging system, and cloud-based control software and data storage. The cloud-based control software and data storage enables robotic image acquisition, remote image processing, and rapid data sharing. These features form a “cloud” network for water quality monitoring. We have demonstrated the capability of ScanDrop to perform water quality monitoring via the detection of an indicator coliform bacterium, Escherichia coli, in drinking water contaminated with feces. Magnetic beads conjugated with antibodies to E. coli antigen were used to selectively capture and isolate specific bacteria from water samples. The bead-captured bacteria were co-encapsulated in pico-liter droplets with fluorescently-labeled anti-E. coli antibodies, and imaged with an automated custom designed fluorescence microscope. The entire water quality diagnostic process required 8 hours from sample collection to online-accessible results compared with 2-4 days for other currently available standard detection methods.

On-Line Toxicity Biosensor

Eltzov E, Slobodnik V, Ionescu RE, Marks RS. On-line biosensor for the detection of putative toxicity in water contaminants. Talanta Volume 132, 15 January 2015, Pages 583–590


Potential threat on drinking water requires monitoring solutions, such as the one proposed herein, as a real-time, wide ranged, water monitoring system to detect the presence of toxicants in water. We studied the role of a selected number of parameters affecting performance and, thus, improved the prototype into an optimized next-generation device, resulting in enabling increased measurement duration, coupled with increased sensitivity. The chosen parameters in question were the peristaltic flow system, the fiber probe matrix stability through a re-design of the fiber probe holder and flow unit cell, as well as the modulation of bacterial medium concentration to increase bioreporter performance while keeping biofouling in check. Measurements were made with spiked samples and validated with polluted field-collected samples.

Article is here (fee).

Perez et a 2011: Searching Simkania negevensis in environmental waters

L.M. Perez, F. Codon, K. Rios, G. Penuela, B. Adrados, M. Fittipaldi, G. de Dios, and J. Morato. Searching Simkania negevensis in environmental waters. Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2011 Dec 2.

Laboratori de Microbiologia Sanitaria i Mediambiental (MSM-Lab) & Aquasost-UNESCO Chair in Sustainability, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Edifici Gaia, Pg. Ernest Lluch/Rambla Sant Nebridi, Terrassa, 08222, Barcelona, Spain.

Simkania negevensis is an obligate intracellular bacterium grouped into the order Chlamydiales. This new amoeba-resistant bacterium represents a novel aetiologic agent of bronchiolitis and community-acquired pneumonia in both adults and children. It has been suggested that Simkania could be an ubiquitous microorganism presented in water environments. In the natural history of infections with amoeba-related bacteria encountered in aquatic habitats, the transmissions by environmental aerosols or contaminated water/air systems have been extensively recognized. Therefore, understanding the feasibility of Simkania infection by these or similar routes is relevant. In the present work, we investigated the prevalence of this novel disease-associated microorganism in water samples from different sources by real-time PCR (qPCR). Our results show Simkania detection in 5 of 185 water analyzed samples (2.7%: 2 of 88 cooling towers and 3 of 8 waste water samples). However, no Simkania was detected in a drinking water.

Aisopou et al 2011: In-pipe water quality monitoring in water supply systems under steady and unsteady state flow conditions: A quantitative assessment.

A. Aisopou, I. Stoianov, and N.J. Graham. In-pipe water quality monitoring in water supply systems under steady and unsteady state flow conditions: A quantitative assessment. Water Research 2011 Nov 6.

Monitoring the quality of drinking water from the treatment plant to the consumers tap is critical to ensure compliance with national standards and/or WHO guideline levels. There are a number of processes and factors affecting the water quality during transmission and distribution which are little understood. A significant obstacle for gaining a detailed knowledge of various physical and chemical processes and the effect of the hydraulic conditions on the water quality deterioration within water supply systems is the lack of reliable and low-cost (both capital and O & M) water quality sensors for continuous monitoring. This paper has two objectives. The first one is to present a detailed evaluation of the performance of a novel in-pipe multi-parameter sensor probe for reagent- and membrane-free continuous water quality monitoring in water supply systems. The second objective is to describe the results from experimental research which was conducted to acquire continuous water quality and high-frequency hydraulic data for the quantitative assessment of the water quality changes occurring under steady and unsteady-state flow conditions. The laboratory and field evaluation of the multi-parameter sensor probe showed that the sensors have a rapid dynamic response, average repeatability and unreliable accuracy. The uncertainties in the sensor data present significant challenges for the analysis and interpretation of the acquired data and their use for water quality modelling, decision support and control in operational systems. Notwithstanding these uncertainties, the unique data sets acquired from transmission and distribution systems demonstrated the deleterious effect of unsteady state flow conditions on various water quality parameters. These studies demonstrate: (i) the significant impact of the unsteady-state hydraulic conditions on the disinfectant residual, turbidity and colour caused by the re-suspension of sediments, scouring of biofilms and tubercles from the pipe and increased mixing, and the need for further experimental research to investigate these interactions; (ii) important advances in sensor technologies which provide unique opportunities to study both the dynamic hydraulic conditions and water quality changes in operational systems. The research in these two areas is critical to better understand and manage the water quality deterioration in ageing water transmission and distribution systems.

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