This one sounds like it’s straight out of some high-octane sci-fi thriller, but it’s all true. According to an article written by Ben Coxworth for GizMag, a consortium called EMPHASIS is actually developing technology that could track chemicals that bomb-makers leave behind and eventually flow down the drain, and accurately locate where they actually originated.
Network of electrochemical water-sampling sewer sensors
According to Coxworth, the EMPHASIS system revolves around the placement of a network of electrochemical water-sampling sensors within a municipal water system, working in conjunction with air-sampling sensors located above ground. These sewer sensors will automatically alert a command centre should they detect significant concentrations of chemicals that are typically used in the making of bombs. The people running the command centre will then remotely access other sewer sensors and eventually narrow down the list of possible points of origin of those chemicals.
Apart from locating people who make bombs, the intelligent sensors in the sewerage system may also be used to detect labs that synthesize crystal meth and other illicit drugs.
It’s a pretty cool futuristic idea that you have a network of intelligent sensors in the sewerage system. If it could detect bomb and illegal drug manufacturers, is it possible that it could also detect sewer and plumbing problems before they happen? If it is, troubleshooting would certainly be much quicker. Who knows, one day you might get a text message from your home’s sewer, telling you to call me, because it is about to be clogged up or is being invaded by tree roots or a barrel of super glue that hasn’t dried yet. Wouldn’t that be convenient?
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