(Denver, Colo. — September 4, 2008) Today, EPA announced the award of $599,996 to Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., to create novel, rapid methodologies for detecting pathogenic waterborne microbial contaminants that can be applied both locally and nationally. Information relevant to water quality and associated health risks on the Crow Reservation will be obtained.
The award to Montana State University is part of a total of $3.6 million awarded in research grants to four universities, one nonprofit and one research institute to improve the detection of known and emerging drinking water contaminants; including the harmful substances produced by blue-green algae in algal blooms and noroviruses.
One of EPA’s highest priorities is ensuring America has drinking water safe from pathogens and other waterborne contaminants. The Agency presently regulates 90 harmful chemicals, microorganisms and even radiation in water. To ensure even healthier drinking water, EPA is encouraging research into other possible contaminants and with faster technologies.
"By supporting research into innovative technologies and approaches to rapidly detect and identify viruses, bacteria and chemicals in drinking water, we can prevent illnesses," said George Gray, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. "These new projects will expand the toolkit available to those on the front lines of protecting our nation’s drinking water and public health."
In the United States, it is often difficult to link the incidence of waterborne diseases with their exact causes, due to the need for ever more sophisticated tools to monitor waterborne contaminants. These newly funded research projects will help improve our ability to pinpoint potential problems using innovative new technologies and methods.