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New York City Department of Environmental Protection Purchases Algae Imaging and Analysis Instrumentation to Protect Drinking Water from Taste and Odor Events
Product News

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Purchases Algae Imaging and Analysis Instrumentation to Protect Drinking Water from Taste and Odor Events

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Purchases Algae Imaging and Analysis Instrumentation to Protect Drinking Water from Taste and Odor Events
Product News

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Purchases Algae Imaging and Analysis Instrumentation to Protect Drinking Water from Taste and Odor Events


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The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has purchased the FlowCAM® particle imaging and analysis system from water quality instrumentation manufacturer Fluid Imaging Technologies, Yarmouth, Maine (www.fluidimaging.com) to monitor source water for the presence of algal cells and permit accelerated treatment of Cyanobacteria and other algae before it can escalate into a taste and odor event that compromises both water quality and consumer confidence.

Deployed in water quality laboratories at two reservoirs to support the delivery of 1 billion gallons of clean water daily to more than 9 million consumers, the FlowCAM VS-4 Algae Analysis models automatically detect the presence of algal cells in water samples, take a high-resolution, full color digital image of each individual algal cell detected and then promotes identification with proprietary pattern recognition technology to differentiate harmless algal cells from the nuisance algae linked to taste and odor complaints.

The FlowCAM then saves the images with their corresponding size, shape, count and other measurements for further review and analysis using the company’s companion VisualSpreadsheet© analysis software.

The patented FlowCAM uses a laser that excites the natural fluorescence of algal cells to trigger imaging, ensuring nearly every algal cell in the sample is detected and that a taste and odor event caused by algae is virtually impossible to occur as a surprise.

Purchased as part of the NYC DEP’s water quality assurance program, the FlowCAM alleviates the City’s reliance on time- and labor-intensive manual microscopy with automated instrumentation that rapidly detects thousands of cells per minute and virtually eliminates opportunity for human error in counting and identification while yielding reliable data with unprecedented accuracy.

The FlowCAM is also used to help safeguard drinking water from taste and odor events in Massachusetts, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Singapore and other areas.

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