P/N-Monitoring Using Smartphone, Test Strips and the Turimbi Strip Reader WebApp

Collaborative Efforts to Improve Environmental Monitoring
Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Prokisch1, A. Leitzke2
1 - Turimbi UG, Im Mühlenpark 18, Dueren, NRW, 52355, Germany
2 - MACHEREY-NAGEL, Neumann-Neander-Str. 6-8, Dueren, NRW, 52355, Germany

Contact Information: cprokisch@mn-net.com; 015732400230


“Nutrient pollution is one of America´s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems” (as seen on www.epa.gov). The presentation suggests a way to use a Citizien Science approach to generate meaningful data on Phosphor and Nitrogen concentrations in surface waters with high local resolution.
Total Nitrogen and total phosphate analysis requires digestion techniques, which are not suitable for a citizen science approach. However, Nitrate and Phosphate are the most prominent compounds in surface water and are relatively easy to detect.
Test strips for Nitrate (0-100 ppm NO3) have been available for quite some time and earlier studies already used these. Recently, easy to use Phosphate test strips (0-10 ppm PO4) became available that do not need additional reagents. A new Algae Test by Tetra features both test pads – Nitrate and Phosphate – on one strip making it the ideal choice for the project.
In the project, participants receive test strips. After dipping into the water, they take an image of the strip and upload it onto a freely available website. Here, an image processing software reads off the test strip result and stores it for further use. The design allows easy adding of GPS data to the concentration data enabling the creation of distribution maps. Centralized QC-measures can be implemented according to study needs to ensure reliability of data.