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Bluephage plays an essential role in the water consumption cycle providing quick, safe, and efficient information on viral water contamination

Jul 30, 2021

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals pay special attention to water, a vital natural resource for the sustainable development of ecosystems, and a human right, crucial to ensure the social and economic development of the population.

Other Bluephage blog posts have reviewed goals 6.1 and 6.2, and in this article, we will review goal 6.3 and the importance of monitoring water quality.


Sustainable Development Goal number 6, Target 3 aims to improve the environmental quality of water is essential to protect both ecosystem health and human health by eliminating, minimizing, and significantly reducing the various pollution flows in water bodies. The primary sources of pollution are wastewater from households, commercial establishments, industries (point sources), and runoff from urban and agricultural land (nonpoint sources).

Wastewater generated by households can lead to the spread of pathogens and harmful nutrient loads in receiving waters if discharged without treatment. In addition, wastewater generated by economic activities such as manufacturing industries may contain various pollutants, including hazardous substances.

In this regard, the Bluephage product portfolio offers microbial water testing kits to detect coliphages, the new viral indicators recommended by the European Union, WHO, and UNICEF.

Coliphages are non-pathogenic viruses that, when present in water, warn of the presence of other pathogenic viruses that cause important waterborne diseases.

How can water monitoring help?

Monitoring wastewater treatment and ambient water quality help policy and decision-makers identify water bodies at risk and, by combining water quality data with stream use information, target interventions where they will have the most significant impact.



Monitoring also allows for stricter enforcement of pollution laws and discharge permits. If a country lacks national targets for safe wastewater treatment or water quality parameters, monitoring global indicators provides an excellent opportunity to develop them.

A focus on recycling, e.g., recirculation of water within an industry, and safe reuse, e.g., use of wastewater in agriculture, complement the focus of SDG target 6.4 on reducing freshwater withdrawals and improving user efficiency.

Currently, only a small amount of data is available on wastewater treatment globally, but some sources estimate that about 80% of all wastewater generated worldwide is discharged without any treatment.

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