The detection and monitoring of metals and organic compounds in water, is normally done by having an technician collect on-site field samples. These samples are then take back to a laboratory. Though there have been many attempts to provide on-site analysis and remote sampling, all previous solutions still required a technician to collect the sample, and the sensors do not communicate directly with the laboratory. Patent 5676820 describes a new sensor which seems to have solved these problems.

Using an electrochemical sensor, a communications cable to an analysis device, and a link to the main data center, you can make regular timed readings of the amount of metal contaminants and organic compounds in water supplies. The sensor is useful for both downhole groundwater monitoring and in-situ water (e.g., shipboard seawater) analysis and provides accurate monitoring without the continuous on-site field personnel. Over 15 analyses per minute can be made.