For at least 3 billion people, the quality of the water they depend on is unknown due to a lack of monitoring. According to the UN, meeting drinking water, sanitation and hygiene targets by 2030 will require a four-fold increase in the pace of progress.

“Climate change is having a negative impact on water quality. Raw water sources previously regarded as safe are becoming more unstable. In addition, extreme weather with heavy rain and flooding is affecting drinking water, biodiversity and recreation in rivers and lakes. This makes it important to know your water in order to find the right treatment,” explains Stenersen.

Portable microbial testing in the field

The Colifast Field Kit™ is a portable tool for easy field detection of coliform bacteria in water. The kit contains everything needed to perform analysis out in the field and, in as little as 15 minutes, can indicate whether faecal contamination has occurred.

The kit can be used with three different test types. “Our main tool – the Rapid Screening Test – is excellent for tracing contamination sources in rivers,” says Stenersen. The kit also contains a quantitative Most Probable Number (MPN) test and presence/absence results.

The kit’s flexibility enables a wide variety of applications. In addition to source detection, the tool can be used to check the water quality at recreational swimming sites. Other applications include process control in industry and waterworks and improved drinking water safety for aid workers.

Much faster than traditional labs

Highly user-friendly, the Colifast Field Kit™ tests are performed easily by non-experts.

The system’s rapid method provides information long before traditional laboratory results are available. Moreover, the tests are performed on site and reduce the risk of errors during sampling, transportation and sample preparation.

“The field kit is perfect for tracking contamination sources. The test gives an indication of contamination after only 15 minutes. You can collect several samples to analyse at the same time, and the analysis can be performed out in the field by connecting the incubator to a car battery,” explains Stenersen.

Extreme weather fuels market demand

The global water testing and analysis market is projected to reach USD 5.5 billion by 2027, driven by climate change, a growing population and an increase in waterborne diseases. To counteract these threats, authorities are enacting more water-quality regulations, which require accurate measurement and reporting.

More than 30 years of experience has allowed Colifast to establish a worldwide distribution network. “We provide validated and documented methods and results that correspond with international standards,” notes Stenersen.

In addition to the Colifast Field Kit™, the company provides Colifast ALARM™ for automatic detection of coliform presence in fresh water and Colifast CALM™ for automatic measurement of faecal contaminants in raw water, recreational water, environmental water and wastewater.

“Colifast systems play a role in reaching many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on Goal 6 which addresses water, hygiene and sanitation and water reuse,” she concludes.