Tracking water pollution with a new mobile lab

Help us design, build, and deploy Tracker.

Tracker: Raincoast’s mobile healthy waters lab

The vision. To design, build, and deploy Tracker, a community-oriented, mobile water monitoring lab in support of healthy ecosystems in British Columbia. Tracker will be the cornerstone of Raincoast’s new Healthy Waters program.

Filling a gap. There currently exists no standardised, high quality water monitoring across jurisdictions in BC, limiting our understanding of emerging pollution concerns. Tracker will be available for regular onsite water quality assessments.

A community approach. The Tracker team will work alongside First Nations and other communities to build capacity and train watershed stewards. 

Tracker will be deployed in BC watersheds and deliver expert insight into detected pollutants, and provide advice in support of community water pollution solutions. 

The need. Water is essential for life. Water creates and sustains healthy habitats for salmon and for killer whales, and provides drinking water for people. Tracker will help monitor climate-associated changes in water quantity and quality, and inform community measures to protect watersheds. 

Illustrated representation of the vision for the Healthy Waters mobile lab, a van, set near the water with mountains and a city looming in the background, and icons surrounding it.
Illustrated representation of the vision for the Healthy Waters mobile lab, a van, with the side cutaway so we can see some of the lab equipment on the inside.

Features

  • A rugged, mobile laboratory for community deployment
  • An independent power source, with solar and wind power
  • A HEPA clean-air atmosphere, with temperature and humidity controls
  • Resilient instrumentation to analyse bacteria, metals, hydrocarbons and organic compounds
  • A portable field toolbox to measure water properties (temperature, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen) and current velocity (streams and rivers)
  • Internet access via satellite link to enable data upload to a dedicated website
  • A computer workstation to generate onsite annotated data reports
  • Safety gear for field work (PFDs, two-way radios, GPS) and mobile lab (Safety Manuals, MSDS chemical inventory, Standard Operating Protocols and First Aid kit)

We need your help

  • Contribute to the acquisition of a suitable vehicle
  • Contribute to the design and modification of the vehicle
  • Contribute to the acquisition of analytical equipment for the mobile lab
  • Contribute to field and safety gear
  • Contribute to our annual operating cost (insurance, fuel and maintenance)

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