Individual Project / Twenty-Six Weeks / 2021 – 2022

Project Summary

The Problem: UK water users are just as likely to become ill from seawater as they were in the 1990’s:

  • Bathing water samples are only taken on 20 out of the 153 days in the bathing season; only 13% of the bathing season is tested.
  • The current testing regime does not account for changes in microbial concentrations, which happen over a matter of hours during sewage overflow events.
  • Current testing only looks for bacterial parameters, however, research shows that viruses are more common in bathing waters.

The Need: There is a need for regular, year-round, real-time testing of viral and bacterial parameters in bathing waters.

Research & Analysis

User surveys, Interviews with experts, Market analysis, Product benchmarking.

Design Development

Concept generation, Rapid sketch ideation, Lo-Fi prototyping & testing.

Product Testing

3D printing, Hi-Fi prototyping & electronics, User testing, Experience prototyping.

Sustainable Design

Ecoweb analysis, Design abacus, Eco-indicator 99, Product lifecycle assessment.

The Solution

A simple and inexpensive water quality tester to reduce the impact of sewage contamination on regular water users.

Aquarius addresses the impact sewage contamination has on water users by testing for Norovirus and E. Coli in real-time and uploading the data to an app database, making it accessible to anyone at any time. View the app here.

Simple & Portable

An easy to use water quality tester intended for regular water users that can be worn as a wearable or attached to the user’s equipment.

Microfluidics Technology

Two reusable microfluidic cartridges are used to rapidly test for the presence of Norovirus and E. Coli in bathing waters.

Design Language

The product’s look was inspired by items the user would already own along with existing outdoor/ water oriented products on the market.


The Aquarius hub can be placed anywhere in the home to charge the device and disinfect the microfluidic cartridges between uses.