Contamination of waterways is of increasing concern, with recent studies demonstrating elevated levels of antibiotics, antidepressants, household, agricultural and industrial chemicals in freshwater systems. Thus, there is a growing demand for methods to rapidly and conveniently monitor contaminants in waterways. Here we demonstrate how a combination of paper microfluidic devices and handheld mobile technology can be used by citizen scientists to carry out a sustained water monitoring campaign. We have developed a paper-based analytical device and a 3 minute sampling workflow that requires no more than a container, a test device and a smartphone app. The contaminant measured in these pilots are phosphates, detectable down to 3 mg L-1. Together these allow volunteers to successfully carry out cost-effective, high frequency, phosphate monitoring over an extended geographies and periods.
Richardson, S., Iles, A., Rotchell, J. M., Charlson, T., Hanson, A., Lorch, M., & Pamme, N. (2021). Citizen-led sampling to monitor phosphate levels in freshwater environments using a simple paper microfluidic device. PLoS ONE, 16(12), Article e0260102. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260102