Home > Explore News > EPA, Partners Launch Water Toxicity Sensor Challenge – Phase II

EPA, Partners Launch Water Toxicity Sensor Challenge – Phase II

Published on: 04/24/2023
Primary Contact(s): greg.doucette@noaa.gov

Monitoring the increasing number of contaminants in water is an ongoing concern for water treatment systems and water resource managers. Current methods for detecting and identifying many of these contaminants are expensive, time-consuming, and may require the use of specialized laboratories and highly trained personnel. Because of these limitations, there is great interest in developing a next generation of sensors that detect the toxicity of water due to the presence of contaminants.

To help meet the need for better ways to monitor toxicity in water, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Challenge partners, including NOAA, have launched Phase II of the Water Toxicity Sensor Challenge. The prize for this prototype portion of the Challenge is $105,000.

Solvers are being asked to develop a prototype sensor and demonstrate its ability to detect a response to toxicity due to the presence of one or more contaminants at concentrations relevant to human health effects.  The prototype sensor should detect toxicity faster and cheaper than current methods. Phase II of this challenge is open to everyone, including Phase I winners. For additional details, including eligibility, important dates, and contact information, click here.

Phase I, launched in 2021, was a theoretical, or design challenge requiring an in-depth written proposal but not requiring development of a prototype. Three Phase I winners and two honorable mentions were selected for awards. You can learn more about Phase I of this challenge and the winners here.

Challenge partners include EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC), the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW), the Water Research Foundation (WRF), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

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