Testing In Public Water Systems
Testing for coronavirus has become a day-to-day occurrence across the globe since the pandemic began in 2019. Testing for traces of the virus in public water systems and private sewage developments is a novel approach to mass-diagnosis in the highly populated world that we live in.
Testing in most wastewater systems is not carried out in real-time, with days wasted waiting for results. Costs associated with testing wastewater and water-supply systems in public and private buildings and real-time results not being readily available leaves populations vulnerable to widespread water contamination and infection.
Modern Water – On The Road To Solving The Puzzle
The spread of Covid across the globe has caused all of us to adapt our lives. Understanding how it could help to detect pathogens and viruses in wastewater, Modern Water began working on a prototype of the original Microtox PD that would detect Covid in real-time in wastewater. Modern Water understood the need for not only large-scale testing in sewage plants and large public buildings, but also the requirement for testing in smaller areas like hospices, care homes, apartment buildings and schools.
Modern Water is the gold standard in water testing across many countries across the globe. From massive water treatment facilities and industrial developments to rivers and streams, the Microtox series of instruments have been used for decades to test for trace metals, forever chemicals, toxic chemicals, viruses and pathogens.
The Microtox instruments currently in position in many wastewater facilities are not mobile instruments. This creates issues when wanting to test in smaller areas, required during the pandemic to help pinpoint where infections are coming from. The understanding from the beginning of development was that any new prototypes had to be mobile, cost-effective and price-appropriate, ensuring they would be easily accessible and affordable to both business and private customers.
Add to this, Modern Water’s EcoWaterOS smart water solution with day-to-day monitoring and early warnings for pandemic response – an idea was born!
Partnership And Collaboration
Modern Water has been building capability for widespread monitoring for decades working with governments, local authorities and private sector partners. Initially with toxicity and heavy metals with thousands of installed sites in over 60 countries, and now with new technologies capable of detecting pathogens.
Through deep collaboration with Microsaic Systems, Modern Water is also capable of reaching deep into water samples to monitor Forever Chemicals and other silent killers.
Rinocloud, Modern Water’s sister company, has applied software data and AI expertise to turn the original instruments into smart water solutions.
The instruments are networked, and data generated is distributed to servers where AI makes sense of it via analysis. It will identify a pollution event and relay that data to dashboards in operational control centres.
Second to this, with the use of Artificial Intelligence, it learns from site data to accelerate the speed in triggering an alert. Over time, it will give earlier and earlier warnings and eventually combine external data sources to enable an event prediction.
Additional data such as weather, flooding, population mapping is also being added to the AI models to gameplay the myriad of potential interactions of different factors that may indicate public health threats in wastewater.
From Idea to Existence
When Modern Water began working with customers and partners in the UK and across the world on Covid response, the immediate effort was to have retrofit units working in field trials to detect Covid in real time. That was achieved with the world’s first live data alerts of SARS-Cov-2 in wastewater treatment plants in June 2021. The effort also helped to formulate the roadmap to build smaller, more flexible units to detect other pathogens, which could be deployed to external locations for more granular monitoring.
It became obvious that a mobile unit would be extremely important. Across the world Governments are manually sampling at wastewater sites to bring back to labs for variant identification. It is expensive, slow, and open to human error with vast amounts of samples being collected and sequenced that have no Covid SARS-CoV-2 virus present. The Modern Water units address this problem by allowing confirmation that the virus is present in samples before being taken back to labs for expensive processing to identify variants. This is of real value, getting ahead of the requirement for population surge testing.
Predict And Respond
Public health stakeholders and scientific institutions in the EU, UK, USA and China all agree that Covid traces are present in wastewater a week or more before local outbreaks build. Clearly, stakeholders cannot resource testing everywhere, so the ability to predict and respond is of critical importance in lowering community spread.
The Modern Water Mobile Services mobile vehicles are packed with technology – both Modern Water’s and collaboration partners, such as Microsaic – that will test at source and in real time for a hit list of pollutants and contaminants contained in each sample.
With these mobile units Modern Water is showcasing its capability and vision for an end to end solution that can detect a full range of contaminants to offer a last mile solution to tier one clients, water utilities, asset managers, local authorities and enterprises as well as national government planning for any future emergency response.
The Microtox® PD solution is part of a larger smart water/pandemic response positioning and is a critical new component in the armoury in the fight to manage the current and future global pandemics and local endemics.
Covid is already being tackled with this technology. New detection is being built for age-old enemies such as Polio, tuberculosis and a variety of influenza. Forever chemicals are being detected in real time for the first time at local level.
Authorities are being equipped with actionable data allowing pollution event and pandemic event rapid response protocols to be developed and refined for ongoing global health crises.
For further information on Modern Water Mobile Monitoring Vehicles, Microtox PD or any other of our services, please contact us at [email protected]
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