Reading teststrips

We are studying how we can ‘read’ test strips for chlorine, pH, alkalinity and hardness using machine learning to help improve the accuracy of citizen monitoring. We’re looking to create a reference library of thousands of photos so that we can make the model as accurate as possible. We’re looking for volunteers from across Ontario to help us!

For the first phase of this research, we are looking for volunteers to test 8 times over 4 weeks in two locations.

Sign up now!

Quickstart video

A walk through of testing. You will need to sign up in order to receive this Tinykit. People from Ontario only! You will also need to commit to completing the post-study survey.

How it will work:

  • Fill out our pre-survey and give us your contact details
  • We’ll send you our study’s Tinykit, which contains a guide, sample sheets, reference card, test strips and thermometer.
  • Choose 2 locations, preferably on different waterbodies (they can be close to one another, we just hope they have different chemistries!) you can visit easily once per week for 4 weeks.
  • Sample weekly, on the same day, at the same time. Collect water temperature, air temperature data with your thermometer. Record test strip results and take a photo using your reference card.
  • Submit your observations using our app. You can also record your observations on the sample sheets, but you must take photos of your test strips.
  • Once your 4 weeks are complete, we will send you our post- study survey.

Choosing your sample locations

For this study, it is more important that the tests are taken consistently than that they are significant for long-term monitoring. This means to choose sites you can easily access and return to for the next tests.

However, if you’d like to learn more about how to select a sample location for longer term monitoring (if you plan to continue testing into next year, for example), you can get more information here.


This area will become an area where we will answer common questions we receive about this study. If you have any questions, please email