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East Hartford, Conn. Company Receives EPA Research Contract to Develop Early Warning Sensor For Drinking Water Supply Contamination

Release Date: 03/09/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

Stuart Farquharson, Real -Time Analyzers, Inc., (860) 528-9806 ext 127

Suzanne Ackerman, U.S. EPA, (202) 564-7819

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2005; Release # sr050304

BOSTON - EPA today announced that Real-Time Analyzers, Inc.of East Hartford, Connecticut received $70,000 from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts program in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. was chosen from 363 applicants across the country.

The team at Real-Time Analyzers, Inc.will develop a chemical sensor for water distribution systems that can provide an early warning of contaminated water supplies. The early research will develop the sensors to selectively detect the hydrolysis products of several chemical agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and pesticides at very low concentrations (below 1 milligram per liter) in flowing streams. Detection will be accomplished in 10 minutes.

"EPA is pleased to assist Real-Time Analyzers, Inc. in the development of their new technology," said Robert W. Varney, EPA's Regional Administrator. "This small business research contract is an important boost for a small business and will undoubtedly assist Real-Time Analyzers, funding a new technology for improved drinking water protection."
The company plans to conduct future research that will combine the sensors with optical probes that tie into selected water-distribution points. Researchers will target 30 priority chemicals, and develop multiplexing software that is compatible with supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Under a subcontract, sensitivity, selectivity, and process capabilities will be evaluated using actual chemical warfare agents at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

"We are honored that EPA selected our proposed technology to address this important homeland security issue. This funding is critical to developing our new chemical sensing technology, which we hope one day will protect our drinking water supplies from both intentional poisoning and unintentional contamination," said Dr. Stuart Farquharson, President and CEO of Real-Time Analyzers, Inc.

The 22 million small businesses in the United States employ about 51 percent of the private work force and develop most of the country's new technologies. Years ago, Congress recognized the need to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally funded research and development and passes a law creating the Small Business Innovation Research program for businesses with no more than 500 employees. EPA's highly competitive SBIR program offers critical financial support to small businesses to develop the best, new, innovative technologies. EPA's SBIR program focuses on important areas related to environmental protection, including clean air and water, hazardous and solid wastes, pollution prevention, remediation, and monitoring. Recent issues include homeland security, clean-up technologies, and technology solutions for specific environmental needs.

The SBIR's next solicitation for developing environmental technologies will open on March 24, 2005 and close on May 25, 2005. To learn more about these research projects and EPA's SBIR program, please visit: (EPA HQ)

EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision-making. EPA's laboratories, research centers, and grantees are building the scientific foundation needed to support the Agency's mission to safeguard human health and the environment.

Related Information:
Small Business Innovation Research Opportunities
Small Business Innovation Research Program (EPA HQ)