Monitoring water quality is an essential tool for the control of pollutants and pathogens that can cause damage to the environment and human health. However, water quality analysis is usually performed in laboratory environments, often with the use of high-cost equipment and qualified professionals. With the progress of nanotechnology and the advance in engineering materials, several studies have shown, in recent years, the development of technologies aimed at monitoring water quality, with the ability to reduce the costs of analysis and accelerate the achievement of results for management and decision-making. In this work, a review was carried out on several low-cost developed technologies and applied in situ for water quality monitoring. Thus, new alternative technologies for the main physical (color, temperature, and turbidity), chemical (chlorine, fluorine, phosphorus, metals, nitrogen, dissolved oxygen, pH, and oxidation–reduction potential), and biological (total coliforms, Escherichia coli
, algae, and cyanobacteria) water quality parameters were described. It was observed that there has been an increase in the number of publications related to the topic in recent years, mainly since 2012, with 641 studies being published in 2021. The main new technologies developed are based on optical or electrochemical sensors, however, due to the recent development of these technologies, more robust analyses and evaluations in real conditions are essential to guarantee the precision and repeatability of the methods, especially when it is desirable to compare the values with government regulatory standards.
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