- Passive samplers could improve hydrogen sulfide monitoring near CAFOsPosted 10 hours ago
- NexSens WQ-PH Smart USB Sensor: A plug-and-play solution for lab pH measurementsPosted 19 hours ago
- National Ecological Observatory Network develops aquatic sensor stations across U.S.Posted 1 day ago
- Universities team up to track Atlantic sturgeon and prevent accidental bycatchPosted 3 days ago
- Nitrate enters groundwater-fed streams decades after field applicationPosted 3 days ago
- GIS mapping tool will help Wisconsin fish farm startups plot their pondsPosted 4 days ago
- Vaisala WXT520: Weather station designed with monitoring systems in mindPosted 4 days ago
- Sensors to help sort out Storm Lake’s sediment issues in IowaPosted 5 days ago
Caffeine separates human waste from agricultural waste in water
Researchers at the University of Montreal have found caffeine to be an accurate indicator of human waste in freshwater. The chemical, consumed daily by many in coffees and teas, was found in brooks, streams and storm water in the Island of Montreal. The study revealed a strong correlation between caffeine and bacteria levels in the water.
“This data reveals that any water sample containing more than the equivalent of ten cups of coffee diluted in an Olympic-size swimming pool is definitely contaminated with fecal coliforms,” said lead researcher Sébastien Sauvé in a press release.
Normally, chemists refer to E. coli levels as a marker of human waste in water. However, this could also indicate agricultural waste from groundwater runoff. Caffeine is specific to human consumption, so chemists can now distinguish between the amount of domestic waste and the amount of agricultural waste.
Read more at labcanada.com.
Image credit: Virtual Tourist