A Norwich-MIT Collaboration to Develop Low Cost Drinking Water Testing

Video still: MIT engineer Susan Murcott and Norwich environmental chemist Seth Frisbie speak in a Norwich chemistry lab

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0vFiw9tAfc&w=560&h=315]

Norwich University Office of Communications

December 1, 2016

Norwich University environmental chemist Prof. Seth Frisbie, PhD, has spent much of his career investigating the presence of arsenic and other toxic metals in drinking water in Bangladesh and other developing countries.

In November, he hosted MIT water and waste-water engineer Susan Murcott to Norwich to give a talk and to continue their work on a number of collaborative projects. One involves the development of a low cost, portable drinking water spectrophotometer for field use in Nepal and other developing countries.

Norwich University electrical and computer engineering professor Michael Prairie, PhD, PE, explains how his design lab students are helping advance the prototype design to build a rugged, easy-to-use unit ready for field use.

Ideas @ Work: #3 Safer Drinking Water

Photo of environmental chemist Seth Frisbie working with villagers in Bangladesh
33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

A series of math errors, rounding mistakes, and other miscues led the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue dangerous drinking water guidelines for inorganic toxic substances, including molybdenum, mercury, and uranium. Norwich environmental chemist Seth Frisbie and several colleagues caught the gaffs. In August 2015, they published their findings in the journal Environmental Health. Since then, the researchers have been working to improve the standards.

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