Remote not out of reach for IDEXX Water Testing

Thursday Island

Whether serving a metropolis like New York City or the most remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa, water supplies around the world—and beyond—are susceptible to contamination that leads to sickness and even death if not tested and treated.

As water travels over land or underground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and can also pick up pesticide/herbicide, microbial, radioactive, organic chemical and inorganic contaminants from human and animal activities. It’s not practical to test a water sample for all potential disease-causing organisms, but testing for the presence of E. coli may indicate the presence of others. That’s why every day, IDEXX’s simple, effective Colilert tests are used to ensure the safety of drinking water for an estimated two billion people living on all seven continents and the International Space Station, too.

Global customers include city and town water districts, public and military health laboratories, commercial water bottling companies, cruise ships and private testing laboratories. Colilert is also employed during disaster situations, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and a 2011 water main break in Boston, as well as in some of the world’s most isolated towns and villages.

An island called “place of no water”

Take Waiben, for example. For more than 2,500 years, that’s the name residents have given to Thursday Island, the most northern town in Australia and part of the Torres Strait. Waiben means “place of no water,” referring to the scarcity of fresh water on the island and the oppressive heat of the region. The island’s water supply is so limited that neighboring Horn Island provides water to the island via submarine pipeline.

“Traveling to Thursday Island was certainly a change from my daily commute,” says Juliet Robert, a national account manager for IDEXX Water Sales with clients in some of the most remote areas of the Pacific Ocean. “I took two planes, a bus and a ferry. It made me realize just how isolated many of our customers are and how important it is for municipalities to know that their residents have access to clean water.”

Thursday Island is not unique in its need to ensure a safe water supply. Small but with a sizable population and home to the region’s go-to hospital, the island recently partnered with the Australian government to be able to use the gold standard for water testing to keep all those services humming.

Having served as a diagnostic practice consultant before moving into IDEXX Water Sales, Juliet understands the value IDEXX water tests bring to both developed and developing areas. She says that there are many communities in her territory (which includes Australia, Fiji and Samoa) that are even more remote than Thursday Island.

Traveling to Fiji and other areas that are right out of the pages of National Geographic Explorer may be exhausting, but Juliet confesses to loving her job. “Like many of the calls I make, Thursday Island is off the beaten path. But I was able to train seven people to use Colilert over the course of just a few hours,” she says. “It’s really rewarding to know that our products bring water safety and peace of mind to communities around the world to improve the lives of people—and their pets!”

... Every day, IDEXX’s simple, effective Colilert tests are used to ensure the safety of drinking water for an estimated two billion people living on all seven continents and the International Space Station, too.