Public Lab Research note

DIY water monitoring workshop at HKBU

by shanlter |

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I gave a 3 hour workshop on DIY water monitoring at HKBU yesterday. and want to share my schedule and slides here.

Ideally it should be 2 X 3hour workshop, or 2 X 3hour indoor workshop plus half day fieldwork. I just don't have more time yesterday...

This is a project based learning workshop that contains 3 parts: Problem, Learn, Create. the slides I am using is here:


I prepared 5 problems as examples that need to be further investigate or solve. it's here. If have more time, actually can take participants out for 0.5-1 day fieldwork, to better understand local problem


there are 2 session:

1. Learn water quality assessment with quick test kits.

I introduce this part with a water guessing game. All participants were asked to bring water sample, and I also prepare some samples. I put the sample into different bottles, to let them guess which is what by testing the water.

I prepared these test kits: TSD, Chlorine, Hardness, NH4, PO4, CODmn, pH, heavy mental... most of the kits can be purchased from the following websites:

pH strips, hardness strips,

Sealed reagents for ammonia, COD, phosphate, etc

Chlorine test kits like余氯测试剂:b0075cf3109ed5fe3340378b628f08bf&ali_trackid=1_b0075cf3109ed5fe3340378b628f08bf&spm=a230r.1.14.1

2. Learn Arduino basic with arduino uno, and write a simple code to read and store TDS value into a microSD Card

sample code is here but I encourage the participant to write by themselve

the procedure is mostly like this:

  • turn on LED
  • connect TDS sensor
  • Make interactions between TDS and LED (e.g tds over 150ppm led will blink)
  • store data into SD card
  • connect real time clock
  • put everything together.

the sensors, board, and modules are here


I don't have time for this part, but ideally participant will group on to discuss/design their system, and prototype it, with the provided materials

I did this Help out by offering feedback!

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