Point of Use Water Quality Sensors

Water quality sensor on a faucet

Team: Andrea Chavez-Muñoz


  • Drinking water quality is measured when before it leaves the treatment plant and with grab sampling upon request by a consumer. This has led to many contaminates escaping detection until the problem has become an epidemic. Lab-on-a-chip devices that seek to operate at the point-of-use use reagents that reduce the ability for use outside of a lab. Present solutions in heavy metal detectors focus on changing the material used in detection increasing costs and limiting detector lifespan

Hypothesis & Methods

  • A chloroalkali like process can be used to generate high strength acids at the point of use from electricity, table salt and water. This can be combined with a control system to collect, dissolve lead scale and measure lead in drinking water the point-of-use.

Potential outcomes & impact

  • Electrochemical detection of heavy metals such as As, Pb, Cu, Cr at the point of use from municipal or well-water
  • Collection devices that can increase sampling by off-site labs at lower cost
  • Environmental water quality sensor to detect mine drainage, coal ash runoff 
  • Bio-marker assays

Publications, Presentations, & Patents

  • Andrea Chavez Muñoz  Production of Hydrochloric Acid Using Sodium Chloride Northeastern Research Innovation Scholarship Entreprenuership Virtual Expo 2021
  • Jones, A-A D. and Chavez-Munoz, Andrea “Portable Acid Generating Device” Provisional Patent Application 63/174,314


  • Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network Award with funds provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation