Tests to begin on water contaminant detection/tracking system

Field tests are to begin this summer with a global, real-time satellite and microwave radio remote water contaminant detection system in the Ohio River Basin and New York Harbour.

The Genesis Alert system of remote sensing buoys will be used to detect and track of a variety of substances that could contaminate the water supply, from an oil spill to Pfisteria.

Its inventor, Jack Baxter, claims the system will enable water authorities to detect contaminants at their source, instead of waiting for the contaminants to overcome their water intake facilities.

The Genesis Alert buoys contain remote testing mechanisms that monitor water in real time and transmit data via satellite or microwave radio to land-based dispatch centres. When a buoy detects contaminants, authorities are alerted and a smaller buoy can be released from the mother buoy to track the spill or other toxic plumes, where applicable. Real-time transmissions may be made via Internet over the companion Enviro/Watch Internet-based patent pending technology.

In a pilot project funded by the US EPA, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), GenAlert, LLC, a division of Baxter Technologies (BTI) will field test the varied capability of the Genesis Alert system.

Twenty-four water treatment facilities serving cities such as Cincinnati, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will be included in the pilot test. The US National Park Service is also beginning a pilot test site for the Gateway National Recreation Area, New York, to help identify and protect the ecosystem from toxins and pollutants. Additional test projects are scheduled for Berlin, Germany, Taiwan and Malaysia.

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