Researchers at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) have created a device to measure the quality of drinking water in the homes, which has a response time of 33 seconds to tell users whether the liquid is drinkable or not.
The government’s Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat said that the high-tech prototype, which is easy to use and inexpensive, has a central processing system that measures temperature, pH (acidity level), electrical conductivity, turbidity and the presence of pathogenic bacteria.
Eugenio Gómez Reyes, a professor in the Department of Process Engineering and Hydraulics at the Iztapalapa Unit of UAM, said that water in Mexico City contains manganese, iron and many salts, as well as very high conductivity rate — a negative sign for potable water.
He mentioned that even when the quality of the water that is distributed in the capital of the country is adequate, 95 percent of the inhabitants opt for bottled water and only 5 percent use tap water put through filters.
The apparatus does not measure all 46 parameters used by official guidelines, but the five basic ones that give an approximation of the quality and if there are signs that the water is not reaching the correct standard, “it gives a warning to undertake a complete examination of the system,” said Eugenio Gómez Reyes in a statement.
The recorded data, as well as the date and time of measurement, are stored in the memory of the device and retrieved via Bluetooth, which allows for content transfer from a cell phone with Android system to a server.
Thus the user can consult the results and find local water.
He said that the water available in the Iztapalapa borough is not potable and so cannot be drunk directly from the public supply.