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TestDrop tests safety of potable water
January 28, 2018, 4:37 pm

Billions of people around the world lack access to clean drinking water, and even when they do have access to water it is not possible to easily assess its quality. A tech start-up named Lishtot says it now has a solution in the form of a new device named TestDrop that can determine the quality of a water sample just by analyzing its electric field.

The fact that the device does not need any additional strips, micro-fluids or chemicals to determine the water quality makes it a practical solution for use in many places in the developing world.

The device is very simple to operate; all you need to do is press the test button on the device and move it toward a cup of water. If the water is clean, the blue light on the device lights up and if the water is contaminated, a red light comes on.

Technology behind the device is equally simple and is based on the electromagnetic fields that surround everything. Water creates its own specific electromagnetic field, with clean water emitting a slightly different field than water with lead, chlorine, bacteria such as E.coli, dissolved animal matter or other contaminants.

The device can detect even tiny amounts of lead and other matter instantly and with 100 percent accuracy with no false positives or negatives. The replaceable watch battery should last for years, even if the device is used 10 or 20 times a day.

Several of the known contaminant readings are built-in and is calibrated around half a plastic cup of water, as the plastic does not interfere with the electromagnetic fields. You can also link the device to your smartphone with an app from Lishtot, which then allows you to upload the test results to their database that can be referred to by other users. The app also enables you to report water quality issues directly to the water supply company.

Lishtot has more water purity-related technology on the way, but for now the TestDrop is its main product. The devices cost $50 each, but prices could probably come down if bought in bulk for use by NGOs, utilities and other organizations, which could then distribute them to places where they are most needed.

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