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HACH MEL850 Portable Water Laboratory - Chemical and Microbiological Testing Kit

Updated on December 22, 2015
MEL850Portable Water Laboratory
MEL850Portable Water Laboratory | Source
Conducting Training on HACH Portable Laboratory with Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) Staff, PNG
Conducting Training on HACH Portable Laboratory with Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) Staff, PNG | Source

A portable kit or laboratory is a box containing all the necessary equipment, reagents or chemicals, glassware and procedures for carrying out the tests in the field or wherever required without sending samples to a laboratory. Results can be obtained right away or within 24 hours. The meter are usually battery powered. See packaging guide below for detailed information on the contents of a MEL850 Portable Laboratory.

An ideal kit must contain chemicals, equipment, procedures and glassware to tests for pH, alkalinity, acidity, solids, color, total dissolved solids, turbidity, Electrical Conductivity, salinity, temperature, oxygen concentrations, chemical composition and presence or absence, or probable numbers of microorganisms.


Conducting sales and providing after-sales support for scientific products has never been easy, especially when it involved customers who wanted a single product that had to have multiple functions, not too expensive, is easy to use, is of reasonable quality and above all give them the tests results they need quickly and accurately.

Sales was not something I studied nor was trained to do but because of my experience in working in the laboratory and in the field, it was much easier to talk about and visualise things. I sold and did after sales support for scientific products. I had a chance to be exposed to a large number of products. HACH happened to be one of the brand that my ex-company (Med Dent) promoted. It was my duty to do as much sales as I could. I sold test kits/laboratories, their consumables, ph, turbidity meters, spectrophotometer and any other not too bulky products. The products I spent a great deal of time promoting were the test kits and the portable laboratories for testing/monitoring different water types ie. drinking, portable, waste, environmental, pool, acid drainage, surface water, aquatic farming, educational purpose, and so on. They are all great products. The reasons why I spent so much time promoting and supporting these product was not just to make money, but they were undoubtedly great products for water testing and that I wanted people to know what was on the market and fully utilise them. They are the next best to a uv-visible spectrophotometer, an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer and an ICP. However, I could not get a lot of sales on many of the kit and laboratories because most of the customers wanted one kit that can be used for two or three water types or a kit that can be used to measure or do two different tests eg. microbiological and chemical tests. See information on table for some laboratories that were sold. Finding the right kit had not been easy. As far as my research went, there was no one kit on the market that can do all these. The customer had to buy two different kits (which means that it is bulky and is not portable anymore) or send their samples to a laboratory where all the testing can be done.

The HACH MEL850 Portable Laboratory comes to being the laboratory (kit) that is close enough to satisfy my budget conscious customers. HACH has a test kit for every water type and the HACH MEL850 Portable Laboratory was a kit that was configured for testing water for Environmental purpose. See packaging guide for details. It can be used for testing both chemicals and doing microbiological tests (Presence-Absence) and however, can still be used for testing drinking water, waste water, mine drainage water, portable water, pool water and aquatic farming water. In the kit is a colorimeter (DR850) that is programmed with 50 different tests. Depending on what tests is required the reagents can be purchased separately and added onto the kit or a new kit can be made up. HACH has empty storage boxes that can be purchased. Also inside the kit is an incubator, and this can be used for testing for total and fecal coliforms numbers .The media, the petri dish and the gridded filter paper will need to be purchased separately and added to the kit.

MEL850 Portable Laboratory compared with other Laboratories.

Quality of Products in the kit/Laboratory (Poor, Good, Excellent)
Usefulness in Water Testing
Can it be used for both Chemical and Microbiological Testing
MEL850 Portable Water Laboratory, 2688800
very useful
Yes. Both chemical and microbiological
The standard kit has reagents for 8 tests. Has a DR850 colorimeter and an incubator that can be used to carry out more tests ie. about 50 chemical tests & total & feacal coliform test respectively.
CEL890 Advanced Portable Lab., 2688500
very useful
No. Chemical Testing only
Customer need to buy a MEL/MF Coliform Laboratory also if microbiological testing is required.
CEL890 Advance Drinking Water Lab., 2688100
very useful
No, chemical testing only
Customer need to buy a MEL/MF Coliform Lab. also if microbiological testing is required.
CEL850 Basic Drinking Water Lab., 2688000
very useful
No, chemical testing only
Customer need to buy a MEL/MF Coliform Lab. also if microbiological testing is required.
MEL/MF Total Coliforms Lab., 2569700
very useful
No, microbiological only
Customer need to buy a laboratory (kit) for chemical testing. Incubator available can do Presence-Abscence test also. Buy prefilled bottles seperately.
4 stars for HACH MEL850 Portable Laboratory

Limitations of MEL/850 Portable Water Laboratory

  • When accuracy is required, results from the DR850 is not suitable.
  • Need to buy QA/QC or check solutions for every tests or batch of samples tested. This is not included in the kit,
  • There is a lot of waste eg. disposable bottles for presence-absence testing of microorganisms. Reusing of bottles is not encouraged.
  • Chlorine testing is included in the standard or initial content of the laboratory which is not necessary because chlorine is not a parameter that will be monitored in testing water for environmental purpose. Most customers I sold the kit to are from locations where chlorinated water is absent.


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