Image by Arianna_M via Flickr
In America our water system is wide open to pathogens and microbes and terrorist threats, and it’s long been talked about as something that should be done to prevent a major disaster. Many of our cities drink water from huge open vulnerable reservoirs, but we trust that no bio-attacks or natural contaminants will happen.
In June a 21-year-old man in Portland, Oregon was caught urinating into the huge open reservoirat Mount Tabor that the city gets it’s drinking water from. The suburban area has long been a place of contention when it comes to contamination of that reservoir.
The city had to drain 7.8 million gallons of water to be replaced with clean water. Having done the math, it came to $223 per gallon of water to replace the urinated h2o. Many of Portland’s locals said the urine would dilute so greatly that nobody would know it was even there, but then they said they wouldn’t drink Portland’s tap water, either.
Alarm for Changes in Water
Now, a company called CANARY has created software that’s open-source that was developed by Sandia National Lab and the Environmental Protection Agency and it detects events of contamination and deals with them by giving plenty of warning to protect the public.
Utility managers are resting a bit easier because giving them more real-time data about changes in the watercan improve on tap water quality greatly.
Regan Murray, acting associate division director at EPA’s Water Infrastructure Protection Division said utilities managers are excited about the new program because it’s free and it’s working well in other cities already.