Pathogen Monitoring Challenge - Stage 1

  • Image of water and drinking glass.

    Launch: May 10, 2018
    Awarded: March 28, 2019

    As western U.S. water demands grow and water supplies become more scarce, water reuse is becoming an increasingly important water management strategy. Wastewater is a drought-resistant and reliable water source that is readily available in urban centers for beneficial reuse. While advanced water treatment technologies exist to produce high quality, potable water from wastewater, there is a need to better ensure treatment process integrity through improved pathogen detection and monitoring. Waterborne pathogens (e.g., bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and helminths) are regulated due to the risk they pose to human health, and their presence must be limited in water intended for potable use.

    The Bureau of Reclamation, with financial support from Xylem, Inc, in collaboration with The Water Research Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, are seeking the development of rapid, accurate, and preferably on-line/on-site monitoring techniques to provide added protection of public health and optimize the design and operations of advanced water treatment facilities. Success could result in reliable, effective pathogen detection technologies that can facilitate public and regulatory acceptance of direct potable reuse systems.

    Stage 1 of the competition is seeking technical proposals for how to rapidly, accurately, and cost-effectively detect viruses in water reuse treatment plants. Reclamation will award an $80,000 prize purse ($40,000 of which is provided by Xylem Inc.), among winning eligible U.S. solvers. Winning eligible international solvers may receive meritorious recognition.

Last Updated: 6/22/20