EPA commences technology challenge for advanced septic system nitrogen sensor

The US EPA and its partners launched a technology challenge for an advanced septic system nitrogen sensor. 

The total award for this phase is $55,000.

This challenge is open for submissions until 17 March.

Currently open for submissions until 17 March, the challenge features a total award pool of $55,000 for this phase.

The challenge has been launched by EPA in collaboration with organisations such as the Nature Conservancy and USGS.

The Phase I of the challenge will require entrants to design a nitrogen sensor for use in advanced nitrogen-removal onsite wastewater treatment system, called advanced septic systems, to monitor its long-term performance.

The top entries will be additionally offered a chance to network with firms, regulators and advanced OWTS test centres for potential prototype funding.

To be managed by InnoCentive, EPA and partners, the challenge will be reviewed by experts from EPA and university engineering programmes such as the New England Onsite Wastewater Training Program at the University of Rhode Island.

Conventional septic systems cannot remove nitrogen, resulting in toxic algal blooms, which lead to beach closures and contamination of water resources.

EPA estimates that over 2.6 million existing systems could be candidates for advanced septic systems that treat the nitrogen due to their location in nitrogen-sensitive watersheds.