Three photos of a gloved hand holding an E-Tongue Heavy Metal Detector
In this SCC project, the investigators will deploy citizen-scientist-operated electrochemical electronic tongue (E-Tongue) devices for rapid, onsite, water quality testing of contaminants such as lead and arsenic, develop a user-friendly app and cloud-computing platform for data analysis, and foster shared learning and collaboration among community stakeholders to build social cohesion and trust in water testing technologies and the local authorities. Furthermore, this work will develop spatiotemporal machine learning algorithms and a cloud-computing platform that will take the responses from the individual E-Tongue devices and produce predictions of contaminant type, concentration, probable source, and extent of the contamination. This information will be used to quickly notify the public health authorities for intervention and alert affected residents to take appropriate actions. Affected residents will also be alerted to take appropriate actions, and water utility managers will be informed to enable them to adjust water treatment processes and make infrastructure upgrades.
Our project will be initially piloted in socioeconomically diverse communities of Lowell, Lawrence, Dracut, and Andover in the Merrimack Valley. Given that drinking water contamination and exposure occurs disproportionately in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities with older infrastructure, we hope our work will empower such communities to use data to advocate for remediation efforts. We believe that frequent community-engaged monitoring of drinking water quality and taking appropriate and timely actions will have a profound effect in protecting the health, the environment, and drinking water infrastructure in the Merrimack community. Partnership with our community stakeholders and elected leaders will ensure that our project is sustainable, scalable, and transferable to other communities in our country and the world.
  • Testing with the handheld E-Tongue