Field Sensor for Measuring Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) Concentrations in Drinking Water

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9302-09-C-0019
Agency Tracking Number: F073-139-1066
Amount: $700,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF073-139
Solicitation Number: 2007.3
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 100, Ithaca, NY, 14850
DUNS: 022552900
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Mehran Pazirandeh
 Staff Scientist
 (607) 272-0002
Business Contact
 Noe Salazar
Title: President
Phone: (512) 656-6200
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government