Septic systems release nitrogen and excess nitrogen causes toxic algal blooms in coastal communities. These blooms can lead to beach closures and degrade water resources. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 2.6 million existing systems could be good candidates for advanced septic systems that treat the nitrogen due to their location in nitrogen-sensitive watersheds. Currently, no sensor for detecting and measuring nitrogen in advanced septic system effluent is available.
To address this problem, In January 2017, EPA partnered with The Nature Conservancy, the US Geological Survey (USGS), and others to launch Phase I of the Advanced Septic System Nitrogen Sensor Challenge to spur the development and design of a low-cost nitrogen sensor package that can measure and monitor the performance of advanced nitrogen removal septic systems.
Phase 1 winning designs were announced in June 2017. Phase II results from Prototype Performance Testing will award $300,000 to the team with the best performing sensor package. For those that might have a sensor technology or a great sensor concept, on December 18, 2017, Battelle will conduct an informational webinar for sensor technology developers and other interested stakeholders.
Applications for prototype testing will be due by late February, 2018. The one-week preliminary screening test at Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC) will take place in late March, 2018.
To receive a link to the webinar registration and details on the testing program, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your interest in the Phase II Challenge.