From the outset of the Aquatest project, it was clear that the success of water quality data collection would depend largely on the practicality and ease of use of the reporting mechanism. That’s why the WQR cell phone application provides a very simple, structured data collection form for both feature and smartphones (Java and Android).
After performing water quality tests, the data collector starts the WQR application on his phone and selects a form, responding to various questions such as noting location and turbidity reading, free chlorine, electrical conductivity and pH readings. Input is formatted and restricted to defined question types (string, number, etc.). Input is checked against possible input values, and compulsory questions must be answered in order to proceed to the next.
Once complete, the user may send the completed form to a central server via GPRS (data channel), or save for later sending in case no cell phone connection is available. Users are notified of failed transmissions.
At the receiving end, an incoming message manager performs basic verification and data integrity checking before storing the incoming data in the database and sending a confirmation SMS to the tester. In case of a result outside of acceptable operational parameters, an SMS alert is also sent to both the operator and his/her manager. (WQR is Java only, WQM is web and Android.)
The Water Quality Reporter source code is available at https://bitbucket.org/icomms/wqreporter/overview