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Field Sensor for Measuring Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) Concentrations in…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Agave BioSystems, Inc.
401 E. State Street Suite 200 Ithaca, AK 14850-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Field Sensor for Measuring Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) Concentrations in Drinking Water
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9302-09-C-0019
Award Amount: $540,000.00


Rapid detection of the total trihalomethanes (TTHM) in treated drinking water is essential for compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts (DBP) Rule, which limits the maximum contaminant level of TTHM in drinking water. The current detection method for TTHM determination involves sending samples to EPA certified laboratories for gas chromatography analysis; a method that is both expensive and time consuming. In the Phase I, Agave BioSystems demonstrated proof of concept for a sensitive colorimetric TTHM detection system based on a modified Fujiwara reaction, which can be integrated into a portable field sensor. This assay system utilizes a modified Fujiwara reaction to yield a detectable color product that correlates directly to the TTHM levels of the water sample. In this Phase II, Agave BioSystems proposes to construct a compact and portable rapid response TTHM water monitoring system for field use. BENEFIT: TTHM is linked to increased rates of bladder and colorectal cancers, and several studies link TTHM to heart, liver, and central nervous system damage. The EPA estimates that lowering TTHM levels in as few as 1,200 small drinking water systems could prevent up to 20 cases of bladder cancer per year, resulting in economic benefits of up to $110 million per year. Another documented health risk is the increased rate of miscarriage and congenital birth defects in areas with high TTHM levels. A Virginia based class action lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages, claims that peak TTHM occurrences in one water distribution system may have led to multiple miscarriages. A cost effective and easy to use field portable sensor, such as the one proposed by Agave BioSystems, would enable drinking water delivery systems of any size to effectively monitor the levels of TTHM in their water supply on a more frequent basis, and allow proactively treating TTHM levels before they are a health threat.

Principal Investigator:

Mehran Pazirandeh
Staff Scientist

Business Contact:

Noe Salazar
Small Business Information at Submission:

P.O. Box 100 Ithaca, NY 14850

EIN/Tax ID: 161551819
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No