Data Buoys to Monitor Pollution Levels in Harbors
In a week where a report found that sewage, slurry, and plastic were putting the environment and people’s health at risk, a device developed at Chichester University in England has been dropped at sea to help deal with the problem.
A series of buoys, which look similar to a home BBQ, will monitor levels of pollution in Chichester Harbour and provide live data for industries and members of the public. The technology has been developed by Litmus Technologies Ltd., a local business who also want to enjoy the water as local residents.
Chief Marketing Officer Sean Curtis said; “Traditional methods to check water quality require someone to travel to the location, take a sample, send it off to a lab, then wait for the results. This is costly and means the information isn’t immediately available to harbor users. Our families are lucky enough to be able to swim, sail, fish, and kayak in this beautiful area, and we wanted to develop a better solution where the information is instantly available.”
With the launch of the buoy, information can be gathered far more efficiently with the potential for a sample to be recorded every ten minutes. Data will be collected over several months before members of the public will be given the opportunity to look at the information online themselves.
Like other harbors, Chichester’s—as well as beaches and rivers—have experienced problems from pollution…not just from sewage but also from farming and materials disposed of in the water from commercial businesses.
Chichester Harbour Conservancy Director & Harbour Master Richard Craven said; “We have been monitoring water quality in the Harbour for many years but are always interested in supporting further research that explores innovative new ways to provide information for harbor-users.”
If successful, the buoys could be rolled out to harbors, rivers, and beaches across the country.