The Compartment Bag Test (CBT)

Quantitative H2S Water Quality Test Kits

The Aquagenx Compartment Bag Test (CBT) H2S Kit provides a quantitative assessment of Hydrogen Sulfide-producing bacteria in a 100 mL sample. Easy color-match scoring determines the Most Probable Number (MPN) of H2S , and matches the MPN level to World Health Organization health risk categories for drinking water.

Water quality testing for Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) bacteria has been proven to be a reliable, lower cost way to detect fecal contamination in water.

Designed for on-site testing in low resource, rural and disaster/emergency areas, the CBT H2S Kit has the same simplicity as our quantitative CBT E. coli Kit:


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Anyone can use with little training
  • No electricity, labs, expensive equipment, specialized technicians required
  • Works at variable temperatures, constant temperature control not required
  • Ambient temperature incubation at 25° Celsius and above
  • Test results in 24-48 hours depending on ambient temperature
  • Most Probable Number (MPN) of H2S bacteria in 100 mL sample

CBT H2S Kit – 10 Pack

Sold by the kit. 10 tests per kit.
Product Number: H2SCBT10
Shelf life of H2S medium: 2.5 years from date of manufacture

Kit includes:

  • 10 compartment bags
  • 10 H2S powder pillows
  • 10 100 mL Thio Bags for sample collection
  • 1 seal clip (extra clips sold separately)

Kit Dimensions: 7 x 3.5 x 2.2 inches
Kit Weight: 0 pounds 7 ounces

CBT H2S Kit – 50 Pack

Sold by the kit. 50 tests per kit.
Product Number: H2SCBT50
Shelf life of H2S medium: 2.5 years from date of manufacture

Kit includes:

  • 50 compartment bags
  • 50 H2S powder pillows
  • 50 100 mL Thio Bags for sample collection
  • 1 seal clip (extra clips sold separately)

Kit Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 3 inches
Kit Weight: 1 pound 10 ounces

When to Use CBT Hydrogen Sulfide Test Kit

  • Initial screening test. H2S-positive results should be followed by testing the same water with our quantitative CBT Kit for E. coli for more specific evidence of fecal contamination.
  • Preliminary water quality testing at household level
  • Behavior change tool and activities that promote water, sanitation and hygiene education and outreach
  • If the alternative is no water quality testing. It is highly beneficial from a health perspective to use the CBT H2S Kit rather than not doing any water quality testing.
  • As a more informative alternative to Presence/Absence H2S tests
  • Microbiological testing to check the efficacy of water disinfection and treatment methods
  • To detect Salmonella, Proteus, Edwardsiella and Kiebsiella in drinking water, surface water and recreational water

About H2S Water Quality Testing

H2S bacteria has been evaluated repeatedly as a fecal indicator bacterium for water quality testing. Although H2S media detect a range of bacteria, some of which may not be of fecal origin, studies show whenever a water sample is positive in the H2S test, it is also positive for other bacteria associated with fecal contamination. On the rare occasions when E. coli bacteria are not detected in water samples positive for H2S bacteria, other fecal indicator bacteria are present, such as Enterobacter aerogenes, Klebsiella spp., Citrobacter spp. and Clostridium perfringens.

In summary, many studies demonstrate H2S water quality testing provides both qualitative (presence or absence) and quantitative data (relative concentrations) that are comparable to and sometimes higher than those of the usual fecal indicator bacteria such as E. coli and thermotolerant (fecal) coliforms.