27 Oct 2011

Real time water quality monitoring

This press release made me think of using the technology to turn non-point pollution sources into "points" that could be monitored. Monitoring, in turn, would facilitate trading in emissions and/or water quality.

I emailed Atlas Scientific for more information and got this reply from Jordan Press:

About 6 years ago we started working with the City of New York. We were asked to come up with a way to map groundwater flow... from there we became masters at building LARGE scale environmental monitoring networks. We also discovered that we accidentally invented (as invention seem to happen) a new method for reading pH from a pH probe. For the first time, we could network 1000's of sensors together. We moved the technology from pH to ORP/D.O. and then E.C. (which was VERY challenging to say the lest).

Now, we are in the business of selling that technology in the form of tiny circuit boards.

Let me answer your questions.

Q: Can you tell me what the cost of a system with one monitor per 100m, along 5km -- equipment only -- for monitoring TDS in a river? I am thinking of monitors of tailwater runoff from agricultural fields.
A: Let's start with a VERY general ball park estimate, so you know where you stand. I would say something like that (5km real-time monitoring) would be in the 7,000€ to 11,000€ range.

Q: Let's say 2,000€ per km then. That's all CapEx, right? And it works out to about 200€ per 100m (farm) to do real time monitoring of a broad spectrum of pollutants?
A: Yes, it's all CapEx

Q: Does it get any cheaper if data come once per day? (I know there are issues with peaking pollution, but just a question).
A: Nope. Best to go with once every 10 to 30 min.

Q: I see that you're working with NYC. Have you heard of Whitewater (Israel) -- they are selling realtime monitoring in the US.
A: Companies like Whitewater use our equipment without having to try and invent this stuff from scratch.

Q: What's your prediction of price points in 2-3 years. Are these prices falling at the same rate as other hitech stuff?
A: Yes. We have a new model coming out that is 60% cheaper. We can help you build a large scale network however, we don't have an "out of the box solution". It's all custom made.

We are actively searching for our equipment to be used in university/corporate demo projects. We can offer our services and expertise to you at cost. The cost will end up being a bit more, but we can produce about 90% of all the technology you will need to set up a very robust real time monitoring system.