The WaterMon project aims to develop and demonstrate a real-time monitoring technology for the detection and monitoring of pathogens, E-Coli and Enterococci, and Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N&P), in drinking and bathing water. This is a two year project which has received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland.
The WaterMon consortium consists of two leading research groups and an innovative Irish start-up. Dr William Whelan-Curtin and Dr Chinna Devarapu are the representatives from CAPPA. Dr William Whelan-Curtin is the nanophotonics group leader at CAPPA. He also co-founded and runs NanoPIX, a foundry service for nanophotonic devices. Dr Chinna Devarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at CAPPA. His research interests include silicon photonics, photonic crystals and biomedical devices.
The current water analysis methods in Ireland are mainly lab based. Samples need to be transported to a laboratory which is time consuming and cases results are obtained days later. Contamination could be developing during this process making it potentially dangerous and more expensive to remediate. There are also limited real-time techniques to detect the range of potential contaminants within the water industry.
The project aims to develop a viable innovative technological solution to monitor current and future water pollution and to ultimately protect human health and water supply sources. It will demonstrate and test a real-time monitoring technology which is potentially capable of covering pathogens in drink and bathing water and nutrients in terms of river monitoring. This project develops a novel technological solution and will not only contribute to addressing environmental challenges and water management issues in Ireland, but in Europe and globally.