The quality and health of many of our vital freshwater systems are poor. To tackle this with ever increasing pressures from anthropogenic and climatic changes, we must improve water quality monitoring and devise and implement more appropriate water quality parameters. Recent research has highlighted the potential for Peak T fluorescence (tryptophan-like fluorescence, TLF) to monitor microbial activity in aquatic systems. The VLux TPro (Chelsea Technologies Ltd., UK), an in situ real-time fluorimeter, was deployed in different urban freshwater bodies within Kolkata (West Bengal, India) during March 2019. This study is the first to apply this technology in surface waters within a densely populated urban area. Spot-sampling was also undertaken at 13 sampling locations enabling physicochemical analysis, bacterial enumeration and determination of nutrient (nitrate and phosphate) concentrations. This case study has demonstrated the ability of an in situ fluorimeter, VLux TPro, to successfully identify both biological contamination events and potential elevated microbial activity, related to nutrient loading, in complex surface freshwaters, without the need for expensive and time-consuming laboratory analysis.
Fox, B., Thorn, R., Dutta, T., Bowes, M., Read, D., & Reynolds, D. (2022). A case study: The deployment of a novel in situ fluorimeter for monitoring biological contamination within the urban surface waters of Kolkata, India. Science of the Total Environment, 842, 156848. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156848