World’s First Automated, On-Site E. Coli Detection – TECTA-PDS – Tour Stop #5


Kingston based TECTA-PDS has created the world’s first fully-automated, microbiology system for on-site testing for E. coli and Total Coliform bacteria in drinking water samples. This innovative technology was originally developed and patented here in Kingston by a group of Queen’s researchers. The company started in 2003 (under a different name) as a direct result of the Walkerton disaster in Ontario and though it operated abroad for a time, TECTA-PDS now runs out of Kingston and almost  all manufacturing is done locally.

The Innovation

The TECTA B16 Instrument can provide E. coli and Total Coliform results in anywhere from 2-18 hours, depending on the level of contamination. It can also provide early warnings of contamination that are sent right to your computer or smartphone. What really sets this technology apart is its accuracy and efficiency, and the machine itself is compact and user friendly. The alternative to the TECTA B16 is human analysis in a lab, which is a far more time consuming process that provides additional room for human error in testing. Accurate and timely results are a huge advantage, particularly when we are talking about something as important as the safety of drinking water.

The Future

There are currently more than 300 TECTA systems in use around the world and their technology is used to test water in more than 25 countries – with those numbers continuing to grow. This unique company is a great local success story and demonstrates how Kingston has the potential to lead the way developing innovative solutions that can have a significant global impact.

The Tour

If you know of a fresh or innovative approach being taken by a community group, organization or business, I want to hear about it. Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram by following @MayorPaterson and the hashtag #MITour.