The Philippines water industry is highly regulated, with monthly water quality reports required. For microbiological failures, retesting is required immediately to ensure continuous supply of potable water. Report data are generated using classical standard analytical methods, with incubation periods of 18 to 24 hours for the presumptive phase and up to an additional 48 hours for confirmation of contamination. The methods used must be accepted by the Philippine regulating bodies. Recently, instrumented microbiological techniques have been approved by the Philippine Department of Health. However, they are not yet being used. This paper presents the challenges and triumphs encountered in registering a new analytical method in the Philippines, and difficulties in changing methods. The capabilities and opportunities presented by the new system – e.g., rapid failure detection, cost effectiveness, and applications to complement relief efforts in providing emergency water supplies – are also illustrated.

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