Water system security strengthened with software from EPA, DOE

Sponsored by

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 5, 2010 -- Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have collaborated in developing innovative water quality software that enhances a water system's ability to detect when there has been intentional or unintentional contamination. The Canary software can help detect a wide variety of chemical and biological contaminants, including pesticides, metals, and pathogens. Once contamination is detected quickly, 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 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. In addition to achieving homeland security goals, Canary can be used to enhance day-to-day water quality management, and ensure the safety and security of water for all consumers.

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 -- and in Singapore.

EPA and DOE received a 2010 "R&D 100 Award" from R&D Magazine for developing Canary. The R&D 100 awards recognize the top high-technology products of the year.

As a free software tool, Canary is available worldwide to drinking water utilities striving to provide safe water to their customers. The software has been accessed by more than 600 users in 15 countries.

More information on Canary: http://www.epa.gov/nhsrc/news/news122007.html
More information on EPA's Water Security initiative: http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/watersecurity/index.cfm

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Innovative carbon-neutral wastewater treatment plant unveiled in California

The EPA recently joined the Bureau of Reclamation, California Energy Commission and Congressman Col. Paul Cook at the ceremonial start of Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority's carbon-neutral energy project located at ITS wastewater treatment facility in Victorville, Calif.

Scottish Water to spend £3.5 billion on infrastructure improvements

Utility Scottish Water will invest £3.5 billion investment over six years to improve drinking water supplies, wastewater discharge and water mains...

Conquering Everest’s water contamination problem

A Ball State University team from Indiana is working to bring clean drinking water to a small, isolated community in mountainous Nepal that lies in the middle of the heavily congested pathway to Mount Everest...

MD counties to undergo major six-year water, wastewater design project

Louis Berger has been awarded a $4-million, three-year contract with the Washington Sanitary Suburban Commission for a water and sewer design project focusing on financing water and sewer reconstruction programs and inspection and repair of critical water and sewer infrastructure.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA