• Portable Toxicity and Bio-contaminant Detection

Portable Toxicity and Bio-contaminant Detection

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DeltaTox® II is a simple, rapid, extremely responsive, portable water quality test system. Designed for acute toxicity screening and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing, DeltaTox® II uses bioluminescence technology to screen for contamination in instances of drinking water emergencies and chemical spills into water systems. DeltaTox® II is the portable toxicity analyzer used with the Microtox® technology


The DeltaTox® II instrument has a combined detection capability that provides a very sensitive and rapid test to detect two of the most probable classes of agents, pathogens and toxic chemicals that may accidently or intentionally contaminate drinking water or wastewater. DeltaTox® II’s acute toxicity and ATP detection capabilities make it the ideal instrument for rapidly and accurately assessing if the quality of drinking water, from the source to the tap, has been affected by an incident.

DeltaTox® II is designed for use in any sample location throughout the water distribution or industrial waste water system. It is particularly suited to remote sites such as reservoirs, storage tanks, ocean or lake going vessels or in any hard to reach place.
Chemical contamination of drinking water and wastewater
DeltaTox® II is the portable version of the industry-leading Microtox® Model 500 (M500) laboratory analyzer. The DeltaTox® II test is fast, simple to conduct, uses small sample sizes and is very cost effective. Results correlate well with those from other toxicity bioassays such as fish, daphnia and shrimp. DeltaTox® II is used extensively in the measurement of toxicity of “fit for use” water and wastewater treatment effluent. It is also used as an early screening tool for relative toxicity as part of a test battery.

DeltaTox® II test systems are uniquely suited for drinking water surveillance where supplies are monitored regularly and at strategic points. It can quickly reveal any changes in the level of toxicity of drinking water making it the ideal solution for major events. Microtox® has been deployed at every Summer Olympics since Los Angeles in 1984.

In industrial and municipal wastewater, DeltaTox® II helps assure compliance with NPDES toxicity limits, measures toxicity in influent streams and determines treatment efficiency.
Microbial contamination of drinking water
DeltaTox® II can rapidly estimate the microbial concentration of a drinking water sample to a level of 100 cfu/mL without additional filtration or incubation steps. The data is available in minutes and is highly correlated with standard heterotrophic plate count methods.

DeltaTox® II is extremely responsive and has been designed for use in a wide variety of applications where it is crucial to rapidly determine the biomass of a sample.


  • Test sensitive to more than 2,700 different simple and complex chemicals
  • Results available in 5 minutes*
  • Excellent correlation with HPC methods
  • Cost effective
  • Fully portable
  • Microbial detection level in drinking water -100 cfu/mL
* After initial reagent preparation


  • Drinking water monitoring
  • Emergency response:
    • Biological contamination
  • Emergency response:
    • Chemical toxicity
    • Hazardous waste
    • Industrial effluent
    • Industrial process water
    • Municipal effluent
    • Recreational water
    • Soil
    • Sediments
    • Storm water


Size20cm x 18cm x 10cm (8” x 7” x 4”)
Weight1 kg (2.2 lbs)
PowerSelf-contained Lithium ion battery or a universal power adapter (15 V dc @ 4 amps)
Instrument Operational Temp32ºF - 104ºF (0°C - 40°C)
Reagent Operational Temp50ºF - 95ºF (10°C - 35°C)
Dynamic Test Range1 to 60 million counts (approx.)
ApprovalsCE (European Community)
Display OutputBacklight LCD – 8 lines x 20 characters
Data I/OStandard serial USB for data transfer and firmware updates
Data Storage6.5k byte storage area (approx. 600 reads)
Data HandlingStand alone or download capability to PC; built in software prompts operational steps, records light measurements and automatically calculates results for immediate review and further analysis
Test ReagentFreeze-dried luminescent bacteria (vibrio fischeri)
Toxicity Reagent StorageFreeze-dried 5ºF to -13ºF (-15°C to -25°C)
Rehydrated 2 hours (ambient temperature)
ATP Reagent StorageRefrigerate
Test ModesToxicity (Q-Tox and B-Tox) and ATP measurement
Test Durations1-60 minute exposure
Test MeasurementCriterion Light output by test reagent measured after timed exposure to a sample
Results DisplayPercentage light loss or gain for toxicity test; or light unit (photon) count (for ATP measurements)
Repeatability (Precision)<20% coefficient of variation for B-Tox and Q-Tox mode testing
Sensitivity and Range: The analyser can detect photon counts from 0 to 60 million

Process explained

The DeltaTox® II test system uses a strain of naturally occurring luminescent bacterial called Vibrio fischeri to provide acute toxicity detection. Exposure to a toxic substance causes disruption of the respiratory process of the bacteria resulting in reduced light output.

DeltaTox® II is extremely responsive and has been designed for use in a wide variety of applications where it is crucial to rapidly determine the biomass of a sample. All organisms contain ATP as their main energy source but it is the amount of ATP in a sample that is directly proportional to the biomass of the sample.

ATP reacts with luciferin/luciferase, the enzyme system present in firefly tails, to produce light. In the reaction, each molecule of ATP produces one photon of light; the light output of this reaction can be accurately measured using the very sensitive DeltaTox® II instrument.