Israeli start-up Lishtot has invented a portable device for detecting contamination in drinking water. The Jerusalem-based company created the TestDrop, a key fob-like device that uses electric field sensors to tell you if a cup of water is safe to drink in as little as 2 seconds.

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Images: techcrunch.com

“There are really only six countries in the world that you can drink clean tap water.”

The TestDrop is especially convenient when traveling abroad. According to Netanel Raisch, Co-Founder and CEO of Lishtot, “There are really only six countries in the world that you can drink clean tap water. In the other countries, you really don’t have a great source of tap water.”

“Many places you go, not only the tap water, but the bottled water, is contaminated."

And the problem isn’t only the tap water. “Many places you go, not only the tap water, but the bottled water, is contaminated. In India, 37% of bottled water is not really bottled water, it’s just bottled by people on the streets. The device lets you detect the possibility of contamination when you’re in such places.” Given the size of the device, the TestDrop can be transported easily and used anywhere.  

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Image: medium.com

The device also connects to a mobile app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play.  With the app, you can access detailed information about water contamination, including data about water testing history. Raisch also said that the TestDrop can tell users the likelihood of their water being contaminated. “Right now, we can show the probability of contamination as a percentage. For example, if you put two cups of water next to each other, you can tell which cup is more contaminated than the other.”

The mobile app doesn’t always need to be connected to the device to record the data, and it doesn’t need to connect to the internet in order to work. If the TestDrop is used while it’s out of network range, the data from the last ten tests will transfer to the app once the device connects to a network.

The data collected from TestDrop users around the world ultimately contribute to Lishtot’s Global Water Map. This online, interactive map displays water data collected by users in different locations throughout the United States. The data is used to identify clean drinking water in different locations across the country.  While the water map currently only displays data collected from the United States, Raisch says he hopes a global map will soon become available. The map can be found at www.lishtot.com/data.html.


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