Why this buoy could be a 'game changer' in helping fight water pollution

Tap to find out about the buoy and how it could be a 'game changer' in water quality awareness

In a week where a report found sewage, slurry and plastic were putting the environment and people's health at risk, a device developed at Chichester University has been dropped at sea to help deal with the problem.

A series of buoys, which look similar to a home BBQ, will monitor levels of pollution in Chichester Harbour and provide live data for industries and members of the public.

The technology has been developed by Litmus Technologies, a local business who also want to enjoy the water as local residents.

Chief Marketing Officer Sean Curtis said,

"Traditional methods to check water quality require someone to travel to the location, take a sample, send it off to a lab then wait for the results. This is costly and means the information isn’t immediately available to harbour users. Our families are lucky enough to be able to swim, sail, fish and kayak in this beautiful area and we wanted to develop a better solution where the information is instantly available."

The buoy will monitor pollution levels Credit:

Like other harbours, Chichester's as well as beaches and rivers have experienced problems from pollution.

Not just from sewage but also from farming and materials disposed off in the water from commercial businesses.

At the moment testing the water quality takes time because a sample has to be collected manually, before being sent to a lab, with results delivered in a few days.

With the launch of the buoy, information can be gathered far more efficiently with the potential for a sample to be recorded every ten minutes.

  • Watch: Litmus Commercial Director Paul Evans explains how the buoy works

Data will be collected over several months before members of the public will be given the opportunity to look at the information online themselves.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy Director & Harbour Master Richard Craven said,

"We have been monitoring water quality in the Harbour for many years but are always interested insupporting further research which explores innovative new ways to provideinformation for harbour users".

If successful, the buoys could be rolled out to harbours, rivers and beaches across the country.