Chapel Hill, NC – In Cambodia, access to safe water and sanitation facilities in schools is increasingly recognized as fundamental for promoting good hygiene and children’s well being. However, many schools have inadequate facilities, including lack of latrines and lack of safe drinking water.

Clear Cambodia is an NGO whose mission is to help rural Cambodian people improve their health through increased access to safe, potable water and sufficient sanitation facilities. Their School WASH Project supports the Cambodian government’s effort to improve health, hygiene, water, sanitation and hand washing in schools.

91 schools have Clear Cambodia’s water filters. In addition to water filters, the School WASH Project also installs hand washing stations, provides sanitation products and conducts workshops on health and sanitation. Because the 91 schools are in rural, remote locations, Clear Cambodia needs a convenient, portable method to test raw water sources for E. coli bacteria in order to assess the health risk of drinking water.

Clear Cambodia's Battambang staff test open well water with the CBT

Clear Cambodia’s Battambang staff test open well water with the CBT

The School WASH Project adopted the Aquagenx Compartment Bag Test (CBT) drinking water quality test kit because it is easy to use with little training and does not require electricity, labs, or expensive, cumbersome equipment that is difficult to deploy in rural areas. In addition to measuring E. coli with the CBT Kit, the project also uses other methods to test for total coliforms, pH and turbidity in sources such as lakes, ponds and wells.

Quantitative test results obtained with the CBT Kit reveal raw water sources contain varying levels of E. coli bacteria. Water that is filtered through BioSand filters and water accessed through taps test negative for E. coli bacteria and is safe to drink.

Clear Cambodia reports the CBT’s color-change test results make it simple to score the Most Probable Number of E. coli in 100 mL samples, and they are a powerful visual tool for school communities to adapt good hygiene practices.

Vann Chhorvy Vanny, School WASH Project Manager, says “The CBT builds trust for our beneficiaries by providing evidence that makes them confident our water filters generate safe drinking water.

“Because of its efficiency,” continues Vanny, “the CBT enables our staff to test water on-site rather than having to collect samples to be sent to a lab.”

Vanny concludes, “Clear Cambodia will continue using the CBT Kit as our ongoing microbiological water quality test because it helps us guarantee the quality of water and tells us which waters are safe and which are not. Safe drinking water is essential in school environments, and the CBT is a practical way to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases in school children.”


About the CBT Kit:
The Aquagenx Compartment Bag Test (CBT), is a simple, portable water quality test for E. coli. The CBT Kit generates easy-to-score, quantified, color-change test results. It is ideal for on-site testing in low resource and disaster/emergency areas. No electricity, laboratories, cold chain, expensive equipment or skilled technicians are required to use the CBT.