Water Monitoring System Receives Security Act Certification

Hach Co. has received Safety Act Designation and Certification from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for an early warning monitoring system designed to help cities protect their drinking water networks from terrorist contamination attacks and real-world events.

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Hach Co. has received Safety Act Designation and Certification from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for an early warning monitoring system designed to help cities protect their drinking water networks from terrorist contamination attacks and real-world events.

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The Safety Act provides litigation protection for users and their contractors. Certification signifies the Department of Homeland Security has approved the system as anti-terrorist technology.

Certification of the GuardianBlueTM Early Warning System from Hach Homeland Security Technologies is based on a review of three years of test data including government testing using actual warfare agents. The system is now available for installation into water distribution systems.

The system uses the company’s patented Event Monitor technology to detect, alert and classify contaminants from cyanide and pesticides to ricin and VX. The system can also detect, alert, classify and learn real-world events and unknown contaminants in water distribution systems. This capability means the system can alert operators to threat agents, contamination and operational issues before they spread or impact the entire water system.

The early warning system is comprised of the following components - the Event MonitorTM with Agent Library, Water Panel, TOCTM Total Organic Carbon Analyzer, and optional Auto-Sampler. Municipalities will be able to upgrade the current Hach Water Panel to a full GuardianBlueTM system.

The Event Monitor analyzes five commonly measured water quality parameters sent from its Water Panel and TOC Analyzer. The Water Panel monitors free or total chlorine, conductivity, pH, turbidity, temperature and pressure which it sends to the Event Monitor via digital transmission. The TOC Analyzer continuously monitors total organic carbon using EPA method 415.1.

The system alarms when the trigger signal exceeds a user-set threshold, indicating a water quality “event.” The event fingerprint is compared to fingerprints stored in both the Agent Library and the Plant Library, and alerts utility managers when a match is found. If no match is found, utility operators are alerted to an unknown deviation in water quality and the event’s fingerprint is stored in the Plant Library for further analysis, identification and classification.

Also, when the Event Monitor triggers it can signal an automatic sampler to capture a real-time water sample. This allows water utilities to conduct additional forensic analysis and testing on actual water samples as part of a response plan.

The Agent Library contains fingerprints for a wide variety of threat contaminants, ranging from VX and ricin to arsenic and herbicides. A subscription service is available offering continual updates with the latest contaminant fingerprints developed by Hach HST. The Plant Library contains fingerprints for operational and naturally occurring events to each unique water distribution system. This capability allows water utilities to detect, alert, classify and learn real-world events such as water main breaks, switching water sources, and caustic overfeeds.

As an example, water quality deviations were detected in Pittsburgh nearly two full days before one of the largest water main breaks in that city’s history. The event ‘fingerprint’ is now stored in the Event Monitor’s Plant Library allowing the water utility to identify future water line breaks before they occur. WW

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