What is Bart Test?
BART test is a bacterial activity detection method used to identify and semi-quantify potential bacterial presence in water samples. It is a very well used method in industries like food, environmental and water treatment for human usage and consumption. BART tests are classified into different groups that look for specific bacterial activity. Most common ones are: acid producing bacteria, denitrifying bacteria, fecal coliform bacteria, iron reducing bacteria, nitrifying bacteria, slime forming bacteria (pseudomonas), sulfate reducing bacteria, and algae.
How to use BART Test?
It is very simple to use. It only requires adding 15 mL of the water sample and wait from 2 days to 2 weeks. However, if after 6 days there is no positive reaction there is a high chance the bacteria are no longer active, or the concentration is significantly low. There is no incubation temperature required (room temperature is good enough); however, depending on the different kinds of bacteria some incubation might be required at specific temperatures. BART test requires constant supervision in order to calculate the time lag, which is the time interval from when the test starts to the point when the test goes positive. Based on the time lag, the approximated activity can be calculated.
How does BART Test work?
A BART test vial is a plastic cylindrical tube with small ball inside. On the inner bottom surface of the vial there is crystalized media specific for each kind of bacteria. Once the water sample is added to the vial, the crystalized media gets dissolved and the ball rises to the surface of the water. The ball helps to create a gradient of oxygen levels (oxygenic at the top and anaerobic at the bottom). This gradient helps to promote the growth of the right kind of bacteria depending on its oxygen requirements.