Compartment Bag Test Featured in Event Hosted by U.S. Department of State that Showcased Exemplary Technology Winners in Washington, D.C.
March 27, 2014, Chapel Hill, NC – Aquagenx, LLC, a provider of innovative microbial water quality testing products that detect potential health risks, was named an Exemplary U.S. Water Technology by the U.S. Water Partnership, a public-private partnership within the U.S. Department of State. The Compartment Bag Test (CBT) was recognized as a groundbreaking water quality test that overcomes the lack of simple, accessible, self-contained, cost-effective solutions to detect and quantify fecal bacteria in water, which causes millions of deaths annually around the globe.
The U.S. Department of State highlighted the winning American water sector technologies on March 21, 2014 at USTech H2.O, an event held in recognition of World Water Day in Washington, D.C. Aquagenx and the other award winners in the U.S. water sector hosted technology demonstrations in the Exhibit Hall. Award winners also had one-on-one meetings with U.S. Government agencies.
Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Catherine Novelli delivered keynote remarks on the importance of reliable water supplies for economic development, health, peace and security. Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. John Holdren offered insights on the power of science and technology to address global water challenges. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones delivered opening remarks.
The U.S. Water Partnership was represented by former Ambassador Hattie Babbitt. Charles Fishman, author of “The Big Thirst” and “The Wal-Mart Effect,” moderated presentations of pioneering water technologies by their inventors.
Dr. Mark D. Sobsey is a co-inventor of the CBT and a Keenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. He is internationally known for research, teaching and service in environmental health microbiology and virology and in water, sanitation and hygiene, with more than 200 published papers and reports.
“We are tremendously proud and honored the CBT is recognized as an Exemplary U.S. Water Technology,” says Sobsey. “The CBT stands apart from other bacteriological tests that are too complex, cumbersome, technically demanding and costly for practical, widespread use in the developing world and disaster settings. This has greatly hindered ongoing water quality monitoring where it is most needed.”
Continues Sobsey, “A fundamental requirement in ensuring access to safe drinking water in these settings is the ability to test and monitor the quality of the water coming from any water source, before and after treatment and during storage and use. The CBT overcomes barriers to on-site and field monitoring.”
Portable, simple and self-contained, the CBT quantifies the Most Probable Number of E. coli bacteria in a 100 milliliter water sample according to World Health Organization and US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for safe drinking water. It lets anyone, anywhere determine if drinking water contains E. coli bacteria and poses a health risk. With the CBT, water quality testing and monitoring are accomplished with little training using easy steps that generate visual, color change results. No electricity, sample transportation, lab-based analysis and processing, specialized technicians or extra, expensive equipment are needed.
The CBT has versatile applications for low resource settings and household level testing by individuals, government agencies, NGOs, water utilities and disaster/emergency responders for ongoing water quality monitoring. The test is also effective for agricultural and recreational waters and private wells.
The Aquagenx CBT also received a USAID Pioneers Prize Honorable Mention in 2013 and a LAUNCH Water Innovation Prize in 2010. In December 2013, the CBT was requested by the Government of the Philippines Ministry of Health to assist with post-disaster restoration of critical water services following Super Typhoon Haiyan. The test was also featured by USAID on the cover of its 2013 innovations catalog, “The Catalog: Version 1.0.”
Aquagenx provides innovative water quality testing products that detect potential health risks and helps eliminate the millions of annual deaths due to contaminated drinking water. The Compartment Bag Test (CBT) is a portable, simple, microbial water test that addresses the needs of low resource, underserved markets. It has versatile applications for low resource settings and household level testing by individuals, government agencies, NGOs, water utilities and disaster/emergency responders for ongoing water quality monitoring.
Aquagenx and the CBT are the result of groundbreaking research and development led by Dr. Mark Sobsey and Dr. Ku McMahan at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.