Worldwide, the majority of potable water is delivered through distribution piping networks. These distribution systems can be shared between anywhere from a few hundred to several million people. While this is the most convenient and economical system available for the delivery of clean drinking water, it also puts the entire population at a common risk if the system were to be compromised either by mismanagement, accidental failures or intentional acts such as those of sabotage or terrorism. The solution which we will propose and outline gives water systems a tool with which to collect and catalogue baseline information, water quality parameters, location of known potential sources of contamination and quick access to testing sites in specific areas where problems may be suspected.
In the case of an event, the area suspected to be the core area of the problem can be accessed by computer based map, locations of known potential problems can be identified, baseline information of the biological and selected chemical properties of the water can be made available and all potential sample sites within a given area can be immediately identified. Application of our methodology and protocols could aid in the rapid detection of contamination –whether accidental or intentional - and help save large segments of a population from exposure.
Each component, mapping, device testing and biological and chemical testing require separate, specialized disciplines
The first step will be the development of the capacity to map and rapidly access the information that will be collected. We have a team member who is expert in this area. He is familiar with the many different options and mapping programs available. The initial phase will be to determine the program best suited to the system involved and prepare that mapping and associated data programs to receive and compare the data.
Initially, sample points will be identified and mapped throughout the distribution system. These points will revolve around established taps that are designated on a sampling plan. All systems in the United States are required to have a backflow and cross connection plan. The basic premise of the plan is to identify any potential sources of contamination from customers on the system.
The last piece of the puzzle is testing for water quality. Parameters such as pH, chlorine residual and conductivity would typically be tested. However, the key to the protocol would be biological testing. For this 2nd generation ATP testing developed by Lumin Ultra Technologies of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada would be utilized. First, baseline data of sample point throughout the system will be readily available for comparison in the perception of an event. As samples are collected and analyzed it can be rapidly determined if there are significant deviations in routine biological levels
This product or protocol has no peer in the market today. It is a combination of required and optional programs that, when integrated will not only fulfill required programs, provide valuable information that will aid water systems in their management but will also provide for increased levels of provision for public safety.