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Water Companies License UW-Milwaukee Sensor Technologies
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/30/2015

About 13.2 million households in the United States obtain their water from private wells, a method that offers no assurances of the water's quality. Testing private wells can be expensive and results can take weeks. But two different types of water sensors developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offer low-cost, immediate protection against the threat of contaminated water supplies.

The two technologies were developed collaboratively with industry partners in a Milwaukee research consortium called the Water Equipment and Policy Center. The companies, including three based in Wisconsin, have subsequently licensed the intellectual property through the UWM Research Foundation.

"These new technologies resulting from our WEP partnerships are helping Milwaukee compete in the $500 billion global freshwater technology market," says Brett Peters, dean of the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science. "Both sensors offer specificity that isn't currently commercially available."

Junhong Chen, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering, has led development of real-time sensors that can be immersed long term in a liquid environment to continuously monitor for even trace amounts of heavy metals or bacteria like E. coli.

The technology has been licensed by A.O. Smith Corporation; Badger Meter, Inc.; and Baker Manufacturing, LLC; all in Wisconsin, and by Gannett Fleming, Inc, in Pennsylvania.

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