- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
On Aug. 5, 2010, scientists from the EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) released the results of a collaborated effort to develop water quality monitoring software that enhances a water system's ability to detect when there has been intentional or unintentional contamination. The Canary software system can help detect a variety of chemical and biological contaminants, including pesticides, metals and pathogens. Once contamination is detected, a water utility can issue a "Do Not Drink" order to prevent customers from ingesting the water.
"This cutting-edge technology helps to protect all Americans and secure our nation's water supply from threats," said Paul Anastas, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. "The new software also improves our drinking water systems and allows water utilities to quickly advise customers when their water is not safe to drink."
Drinking water utilities can use the software in conjunction with a network of water quality sensors to rapidly detect contamination, and to more accurately assess when and how they need to respond. The software helps to distinguish between natural variation in water quality measurements and hazardous contamination, and sends an alarm to indicate when water utilities should take steps to investigate and respond to potential contamination.
The Greater Cincinnati Water Works is the first utility to pilot the software and has been using Canary to assist in detecting and managing contamination incidents since 2007. The software is currently being evaluated in four other U.S. cities -- New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, as well as in Singapore. The system received a 2010 "R&D 100 Award" from R&D Magazine, one of 100 technologies recognized for the year.
The free software tool is available worldwide to drinking water utilities.
More information on the system is available at www.epa.gov/nhsrc/news/news122007.html
More information on the EPA's Water Security initiative is available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/index.cfm
SOURCE: EPA Press release.