Conventional septic systems are not designed to remove nitrogen, which can lead to problems like nitrogen loading to waterways. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 2.6 million existing systems could be good candidates for advanced septic systems that treat the nitrogen due to their location in nitrogen-sensitive watersheds. Adding nitrogen sensors to these advanced septic systems will help manufacturers, homeowners, and local and state governments ensure that these systems are performing as intended and protecting valuable coastal resources.
The goal of the Challenge is to inspire technology innovators to develop a sensor to monitor nitrogen discharged from advanced septic systems. In Phase II, sensor developers will apply to have their sensor prototype screened and field tested. The Challenge opened on December 18 with an informational webinar, and submissions are due by the end of January 2018.