Automated and Continuous Water Quality Monitoring

Designed and manufactured by Biological Monitoring, Inc., the Bio-Sensor® combines living organisms with advanced computer and electronic technologies to continuously monitor water quality. 

This is accomplished by employing live fish in a series of tanks as sensors to detect the presence of toxic substances. As variations in water quality occur, changes in ventilatory behavior and certain locomotor activities of the fish are detected through noninvasive electronic sensors in each tank. These fish signals are amplified and filtered before being analyzed by computer algorithms. When a significant number of fish respond simultaneously in an abnormal manner, an alarm is initiated. In this manner, the Bio-Sensor® automatically and continuously monitors the quality of drinking water, industrial and municipal effluents, and other water sources.

  1. Water from the monitored source continually flows through fish sensor tanks in the unit.
  2. Bioelectric signals from the fish are captured, filtered, and amplified in the Bio-Amp® before being fed into a computer algorithm for analysis.
  3. The computer analyzes the signal produced by each fish to determine if it is a result of abnormal activity.
  4. If a significant number of the fish are determined to be acting abnormally at the same time an alarm is triggered and a water sample is collected for analysis.

Principle Concepts

  • Bio-Sensor® is based on the science of a high toxic response correlation between fish and humans.
  • Fish health and behavior are the best indicators of a natural environment’s water quality.
  • Real-time monitoring of fish allows fast detection of toxicants at sublethal levels providing an early warning to trigger the need for investigation.
  • Easy to set-up and use. Does not require special technical skills.
  • Rugged construction; can be set up virtually anywhere there is a shelter, water supply line, drain, and AC power.
  • Remote communications and viewing of activity.
  • Choice of fish species available at most local aquarium stores.
  • Automated fish feeders minimize maintenance requirements.
  • Integrates with physicochemical monitors to assist in the analysis of water quality.
  • Can trigger stand alone alerts with message generating devices or tie into existing SCADA monitoring and control systems.
  • Automated water sampling when an alert condition is detected.
  • The ventilatory activity of the fish can be seen on the display screen as a series of waveforms.
  • A cost-effective, first-line measure.
  • Continuous monitoring provides an early alert to toxic presence in the water source.
  • Alarms facilitate rapid response before there is public harm.
  • Can be employed, monitored and maintained by non-skilled technicians.
  • Increases public confidence in drinking water safety.

Optional Accessories

  • Physicochemical Monitors
  • De-chlorination Unit
  • Water Intake Temperature Controller
  • Radio Modems
  • External Automated Water Samplers

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