MPA Testing

What is Microscopic Particle Analysis?

Microscopic Particle Analysis (MPA) is the concentration of different matrices of water and the microscopic examination of the concentrate to determine the presence or absence of certain bioindicators that can determine water quality, filtration system performance, or possible health risks.

What are the Benefits of Microscopic Particle Analysis?

Microscopic Particulate Analysis (MPA) is a useful tool in the evaluation of groundwater and the extent to which the body of water is influenced by nearby surface water sources. Based on microscopic results, risk factors from each bio-indicator can be assigned and summed, and indicate if the groundwater is classified as low risk, moderate risk, or high risk. 

This method also can be used for filtration plant optimization to verify the log reduction  of particles from surface water by water filtration plants. By processing samples in pairs, one before filtration and one after filtration, Scientific Methods can provide the data needed to ensure water filtration systems are operating as desired to produce potable water.

Are There Other Uses for Microscopic Particle Analysis?

There are several other applications for the microscopic examination of concentrated water. Scientific Methods can use microscopy to determine:


            Identification of odor produced microorganisms

Taste and odor issues will sometimes occur in finished water if levels of certain microorganisms reach certain threshold limits in the source water.  For example, Actinomycete sp. will produce an earthy/musty odor.  Some algae and diatoms will also produce a musty/fishy/rotten odor.   Scientific Methods has developed a microscopic examination method to identify and count those algae and diatoms associated with taste and odor. 

Identification of blue-green algae

Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, can cause taste-odor problems in finished water, and some can produce neurotoxins or hepatotoxins.  Due to climate changes and agriculture activities, blue-green algal blooms are becoming more common.  Scientific Methods can identify and count blue-green algae with digital images from microscopy.

Particle Count by Microscopic Examination

Depending upon the users’ data needs, the examination can provide information on species, categorize the nature and density of observed bacteria or count the number of particles of interest.

Sample Volume:   SW  minimum 1L

                        GW  500 L

                        DW   1000 L 

                        WW  1L 

Sample Matrices:   drinking water, surface water, wastewater, groundwater