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Navy Develops Drinking Water Monitoring System
July 29, 2008

The Navy is testing a new drinking water quality monitoring system that would provide safe water for military personnel worldwide while warning of attempts to intentionally contaminate water supplies.

The system is part of a study completed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command’s Engineering Service Center (NAVFAC ESC) to assess drinking water security technologies and is being demonstrated at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Port Hueneme. The study was funded by the Navy Environmental Sustainability Development to Integration program.

The demonstration will be performed with NBVC Public Works Department staff and a contractor. Testing includes the integration of water distribution system hydraulic modeling with recommended real-time monitoring technologies identified in the study. Chlorine residue (free and total), ammonia, nitrate, organics (total and dissolved), total trihalomethanes (TTHM), conductivity and turbidity are among the key water quality parameters monitored.

More importantly, the system can also detect a wide range of contaminants to provide an early warning of occurrences of water abnormality, such as intentional contamination (terrorist attack), pipe breaks, system failure, etc. The monitoring stations are deployed at strategic locations to detect the quality of the water coming into the base and to check the segment of water systems serving the greater base population or areas experiencing poor water quality.

Monitoring data are collected continuously and transmitted wirelessly for analysis, reporting, and response actions. Field installations begin in mid-2008 and the one-year demonstration will be completed by late 2009.

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