Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Biological and Irrigation Engineering


Anhong Zhou


Water quality is a crucial factor in determining the health of an environment, and in turn the health of all those living in the given environment. Early detection of potential hazards in source water used for drinking would help to avoid outbreaks of sickness and even death. Contaminants, found in contact and drinking water, having negative effects on human health may include pathogenic microorganisms, and metal ion pollutants such as lead or cadmium. Lead and cadmium were selected due to well-known electrochemical properties providing easy references for developing new detection devices. Current methods for detection of these contaminants are extremely expensive and time consuming. The focus of this project was to develop a single device that selectively detects multiple contaminants while maintaining sensitivity. This thesis provides an investigation into electrochemical techniques that can be used to develop cost effective, portable, and easy to use devices. A fabricated microelectrode array is proposed and tested that can be used for the detection of lead and cadmium ions, and also has the potential to incorporate detection of DNA sequences for specific species of pathogenic microorganisms.