Chapel Hill, NC – Water quality testing in rural, remote locations has been extremely difficult to do. Laboratories are often unavailable and can take a long time to provide test results. Other bacteriological testing methods are too complex, impractical and costly to use in low resource settings.

Millennium Water Alliance and WaterAid Nicaragua faced these obstacles when attempting to analyze drinking water sources for fecal contamination in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Their problems were solved with the Aquagenx Compartment Bag Test (CBT).

Using the CBT Kit, Millennium Water Alliance and WaterAid Nicaragua measured E. coli bacteria in water supply service levels provided by household rainwater harvesting systems and other water sources.

DSC_1623Samples from these sources were analyzed in the dry and rain seasons. Differences were monitored between shallow unprotected wells, shallow concrete lined wells, rooftop rainwater harvesting systems, surface water and a hand-pump equipped borehole.

Researchers found that the rooftop rainwater harvesting systems installed by the community with WaterAid Nicaragua and one hand pump-equipped borehole provided the best, most consistent water quality of more than 25 water sources available in the community.


DSC_1707Daniel W. Smith, Program Officer at Millennium Water Alliance says, “We’ll continue using the Aquagenx CBT because it’s easy to use, interpret and share test results. Its quantitative data helps us build evidence of the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of water supplies we help communities develop. The CBT’s color-change test results are easy to understand for residents and researchers alike.”

Continues Smith, “It was great to get test results so fast because we could share them in real-time, which let the water sampling be relevant for the local water, sanitation and hygiene initiative as well as the research.”

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.