SCCWRP this summer will begin field-testing a suitcase-sized instrument prototype designed to rapidly detect microbial contamination in beach ocean water.
The droplet digital PCR (polymerase chain reaction) instrument, developed by Arizona State University researchers, was recently paired to an automated water sampling and processing module, creating a contiguous automated system capable of measuring microbes in raw water samples from start to finish with no human manipulation.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, which paired the ddPCR instrument to the sample acquisition and processing module, is continuing to test the instrument prior to field deployment this summer.
The researchers are working to build a microbial detection system that can produce results in the field within two hours, eliminating the need to transport water samples to a lab for analysis. The goal is to eventually design a system so simple to use that a non-microbiologist, such as a beach lifeguard, could operate it.
More news related to: Microbial Source Tracking, Microbial Water Quality