Recent Advances in Point-of-Access Water Quality Monitoring
Clean water is one of our most valuable natural resources. In addition to providing safe drinking water it assures functional ecosystems that support fisheries and recreation. Human population growth and its associated increased demands on water pose risks to maintaining acceptable water quality. It is vital to assess source waters and the aquatic systems that receive inputs from industrial waste and sewage treatment plants, storm water systems, and runoff from urban and agricultural lands. Rapid and confident assessments of aquatic resources form the basis for sound environmental management. Current methods engaged in tracing the presence of various bacteria in water employ bulky laboratory equipment and are time consuming. Thus, real-time water quality monitoring is essential for National and International Health and Safety. Environmental water monitoring includes measurements of physical characteristics (e.g. pH, temperature, conductivity), chemical parameters (e.g. oxygen, alkalinity, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds), and abundance of certain biological taxa. Monitoring could also include assays of biological activity such as alkaline phosphatase, tests for toxins such as microcystins and direct measurements of pollutants such as heavy metals or hydrocarbons. Real time detection can significantly reduce the level of damage and also the cost to remedy the problem. This paper presents overview of state-of-the-art methods and devices used for point-of-access water quality monitoring and suggest further developments in this area.
KeywordsWater quality monitoring Sensor arrays Real-time detection
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