Water Quality Test Kit Used to Reliably Detect Dissolved Arsenic

Water Quality Test Kit Used to Reliably Detect Dissolved Arsenic

Groundwater wells are critical to our water infrastructure, particularly as we see new pressures such as water scarcity and climate change. These wells can turn into a grave environmental concern, however, when they are found to be a breeding ground for unsafe bacteria and chemical contaminants.

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Arsenic, one of the most dangerous, can have a serious negative impact on the health of individuals who drink the water. Resolution does not come easy—just getting the water tested is challenging, and then there is the daunting prospect of arsenic remediation.

Making this process easier is FREDsense Technologies Corp (FREDsense), a Calgary-based company that recently deployed new portable water instrumentation technology for testing water. This technology allows utility managers to make decisions surrounding water quality parameters directly on-site, with just an hour's wait, as opposed to the traditional delay for costly results from an off-site analytical lab.

In a case study released recently, FREDsense shared that the FRED-Arsenic test kit measured in the low parts per billion range (μg/L) and has been used by utilities and consultants in California and Arizona. The study showed there are many groundwater wells and active arsenic remediation efforts with successful outcomes. FRED-Arsenic is used by utilities, mining companies, and other industries to detect arsenic quickly and accurately in groundwater on site. The FRED-Arsenic Kit is designed to measure the concentration of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic species within a water sample and assess arsenic levels in water in the field within an hour of sampling.

“We are pleased to receive confirmation that the water quality test results from our FRED-Arsenic portable test kits were comparable to the samples taken in the same conditions and tested in a traditional lab. FREDsense is changing how the world approaches water quality monitoring and testing by creating test kits which are portable, can be used on site, and make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to learn the contaminants in water and begin the remediation process,” said David Lloyd, co-founder and chief executive officer of FREDsense. “These test kits are just as accurate as the tests conducted in a lab.”

A recent project goal was to trial the FRED-Arsenic system in an on-site environment over two days at four groundwater wells. Water samples with varying levels of arsenic were tested using the FRED-Arsenic sensor and the results were compared with results from the same samples by a third-party analytical lab. This validated the use case of the technology and proved the accuracy of the sensor in the field. The study partner uses an analytical lab for measuring the arsenic levels upstream and downstream of the remediation systems and they often wait 1-2 weeks to receive data from the lab. They are interested in adopting an on-site testing system so their operators can make decisions about the remediation process directly in the field.

FRED-Arsenic results were compatible with the standard lab results, and the kit allows operators to get data in almost real-time. The test kit may be implemented across the entirety of their water quality testing infrastructure. FRED-Arsenic provided high-quality data comparable to that of the analytical lab (between ±1 - 2 μg/L). This revolutionizes how analytical chemistry is performed in-field, providing operators the opportunity to better understand their arsenic levels and to improve efficiency.

FREDsense was the recipient of an arsenic field kit challenge award through the United States Bureau of Reclamation as well as other awards for its technology. They are in the process of securing series A funding for the FRED-Arsenic technology and other critically needed water quality testing products they have in development.