Early-Warning Water Security System to be Tested

Aug 25, 2006

Colorado State engineering researchers have begun testing an early-warning security system designed to alert city utility officials when major pollutants are detected in water supplies.

If installed, the real-time monitoring system, integrated by ST-Infonox of California, would help city officials respond quickly to foreign substances in the water distribution system, helping to combat any potential terrorist or natural threats, said Sam Araki, chief executive officer and president of ST-Infonox Inc.

ST-Infonox officials are working with city officials in Loveland and Fort Collins to test the technology on municipal water systems.

Ralph Mullinix, director of Loveland Water and Power, said early warning systems are needed because water distribution systems are most vulnerable after the water leaves the treatment plant.

“Loveland Water and Power is pleased to participate as a pilot site for the development of the ST-Infonox early warning system for our water supply,” Mullinix said. “We hope this system can be developed and cost effectively integrated into every water system in the United States and throughout the world.”

In March 2004, the U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report on the vulnerability of the water distribution system and urged collaboration with industry to improve real-time monitoring. The report stated that water industry experts consider a lack of monitoring systems one of the most vulnerable points of water supplies.

“No economically viable monitoring system currently exists for water distribution systems in the country,” Araki said. “This technology will help address vulnerabilities in our water.”

“The potential benefit of this water distribution technology is tremendous,” said Wade Troxell, associate dean for research and economic development in the College of Engineering. “These kinds of partnerships, such as this one between Colorado State and ST-Infonox, intends to provide a market-based solution that can potentially have a global impact on society. This is our role as a 21st century land-grant institution."

ST-Infonox is working with Ken Carlson, a civil engineering professor at Colorado State, and Amy Pruden, an assistant professor, to test the SCOPEH2O system in a laboratory environment. Carlson has traditionally studied breaches in drinking water distribution systems, drinking water contaminants and natural treatment solutions for drinking water.

“The methods that we’ve developed for simulating intentional distribution system contamination events are unique – there are only a limited number of labs in the country that have this capability,” Carlson said. “The project we’re doing with ST-Infonox could help us learn much about how to help the country protect its water resources, particularly drinking water.”

Source: Colorado State University

Explore further: College students use 'smart' technology in football helmets to detect injuries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

America's place in the sun: Energy report sets goal

5 hours ago

A recent energy report said that America should build on the recent growth in solar energy by setting a goal of obtaining at least 10 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030. "Star Power: The ...

A renewable bioplastic made from squid proteins

Dec 18, 2014

In the central Northern Pacific is an area that may be the size of Texas called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Made up of tons of floating plastic debris, the patch is killing seabirds and poisoning marine ...

Unraveling the light of fireflies

Dec 17, 2014

How do fireflies produce those mesmerizing light flashes? Using cutting-edge imaging techniques, scientists from Switzerland and Taiwan have unraveled the firefly's intricate light-producing system for the ...

Chemically driven micro- and nanomotors

Dec 17, 2014

At least since the movie "The Fantastic Voyage" in 1966, in which a submarine is shrunk down and injected into the blood stream of a human, people have been toying with the idea of sending tiny "micromachines" ...

Recommended for you

Building a machine that sorts candy colors with iPhone

Dec 23, 2014

The very idea of a machine being able to color-sort M&Ms teases an inventor's imagination and interest in machines, electronics and programming. A person with a website called "reviewmylife" had heard about ...

Laser technology aids CO2 storage capabilities

Dec 23, 2014

DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory is attracting private industry attention and winning innovation awards for harnessing the power of lasers to monitor the safe and permanent underground storage ...

FAA, industry launch drone safety campaign

Dec 22, 2014

Alarmed by increasing encounters between small drones and manned aircraft, drone industry officials said Monday they are teaming up with the government and model aircraft hobbyists to launch a safety campaign.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.