Providing drinkable water for Soldiers in the field has always been essential, but current technology doesn't always allow for the quick detection of a wide variety of possible toxins. Due to the efforts of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity's Medical Support Systems Project Management Office in partnership with the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research and the Military Operational Medicine Research Program, a more advanced system will soon be available.
The Environmental Sentinel Biomonitor is a portable system for screening water for a wide range of possibly toxic industrial chemicals. It will soon be an important part of the Water Quality Analysis Set-Preventive Medicine which is currently fielded to preventive medicine technicians who test for bacteria and hazardous materials to verify toxic industrial chemical levels from current filtration methods.
Right now, reverse osmosis-based treatment systems are in use and are highly effective in removing most chemicals. However, some chemicals still manage to get through.
"Most of the current technologies are analyte-specific [look for individual chemical substances] rather than broad-based," said Alan Harner, MSS PMO product manager.