Rapid E.coli Quantification with Field Portable Devices aroun d UK Bathing Sites
This article focuses on work performed by Fluidion in collaboration with the UK Environment Agency, focusing on using portable ALERT units to quantify E.coli bacteria around bathing sites, and on the usage of this technology for locating and eliminating hidden pollution sources.
The Fluidion ALERT technology allows the Environment Agency's A&R team to react quickly during rain events and effectively trace sources and pathways
of contamination. The ability to complete detailed investigations before sources of contamination disappear greatly enhances the chances of isolating and removing sources from the environment. The Environment Agency is also looking at the possibility that such rapid quantification devices could enable faster reopening of bathing waters after closure due to abnormal situations. Currently, when a beach area is closed due to high bacterial levels, it can only be officially reopened after confirmation that the contamination is gone, which requires hand grab samples to be sent to a laboratory for analysis and can take 3-4 days. Confirmation of low bacterial levels in bathing water with the ALERT device can be performed directly on-site in under 10 hours, providing the necessary data to open up the beach to the public, days earlier.