LAS VEGAS WATER
Las Vegas Valley Water District is a not-for-profit agency that tests the quality of water found in Lake Mead, which supplies nearly 90 percent of the water used by Las Vegas Valley Water District customers. Virtually all water in Lake Mead originates as snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains that flows down the Colorado River. The remaining water—about 10 percent—comes from wells that tap a deep groundwater aquifer beneath the Las Vegas Valley.
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To ensure that the water meets or surpasses federal drinking water standards, the Water District collects and analyzes water samples with more frequency than federal regulations require.
In 2014, water quality staff:
- Collected about 36,000 water samples and
- Conducted more than 327,000 analyses of those samples
- Monitored water quality in “real time” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
- Tested for more than 140 regulated and unregulated contaminants
With so many testing requirements, a process that is automated would make water-quality testing and analysis more efficient and is much needed; fast and accurate testing is important, especially when there are sudden changes in the turbidity and physical appearance of incoming raw water that could indicate contamination.
TECTA-PDS developed the TECTA™ B16 to provide accurate and fully automated testing for E. coli and Total Coliforms much faster than traditional incubation methods.
The TECTA™ B16 is an automated microbiological platform that uses patented PolymerPartition technology. This platform is simple, sensitive and flexible, making sample results available at any time of the day.
The TECTA™ B16 supports the Las Vegas Valley Water District process by providing an automated, rapid E. coli and Total Coliforms detection system for the assessment of microbiological water-quality and assuring the safety of drinking water.
Frehner and his team routinely conduct tests in which they create 30 colony-forming units into one-liter samples to see if the TECTA™ can still detect the contaminant and have been amazed by the success of the results.
Frehner is currently using the TECTA™ for “side samples” to demonstrate how the device works and the speed and accuracy of the results; he hopes to soon be able to utilize TECTA™ for new main inspections, allowing Las Vegas Valley Water District to deliver results to contractors faster. TECTA™ is EPA certified and is currently in the process of obtaining certification form the State of Nevada.
While Frehner anticipates some challenges to making the change over (cost and training), he believes the accuracy and quickness with which the TECTA™ delivers results will help with the transition.