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New sensor-based filter proves quality of tap water

Many people continue to buy bottled water despite media attention on the threat plastics pose to the environment. This is largely due to their lack of faith in the quality of tap water.

Food and Natural Resources

The EU-funded TAPP X project developed an innovative, sensor-based, IoT-ready tap filter that provides users with data on the quality of their filtered water. “TAPP X is the world’s first household water filter that contains sensors to analyse tap water quality in real time,” states Magnus Jern, project manager and co-founder of filter technology company TAPP Water. The TAPP X concept began with the idea that knowing the quality of your tap water will help convince more people to give up bottled water. “Widespread adoption of wearable fitness and sleep trackers as part of the quantified-self movement and a growing interest in health have clearly increased the demand for products such as TAPP X,” Jern explains.

Knowledge is key

Researchers developed a customised, reusable, filter cartridge that reflects local needs based on the sensor data and other public data. The filter includes individual sensors for heavy metals and lead, nitrates, pH, temperature, and water flow. “The miniature water flow/pressure sensor is smaller and more accurate than any existing water flow sensor, enabling customers to know precisely how much filtered and unfiltered water they use and adjust it for optimal performance,” comments Jern. This approach enables the same sensors to monitor water quality before and after filtering, thereby reducing cost, battery consumption and complexity. It also allows users and water suppliers to monitor the quality of the unfiltered tap water in terms of mineral content, turbidity and pH throughout the water network. TAPP X is currently the only water filter that monitors the quality of the tap water before and after filtering with multiple variables. TAPP Water has already launched a water quality database, providing a simple, easy-to-use interface for consumers to look up and understand the quality of their local tap water. An app on the user’s mobile phone automatically connects to the water filter whenever in range to synchronise data with the TAPP Water Cloud service.

A huge market

“TAPP X is the first, real-time, fact-based information source about water quality that allows end users to monitor and improve water quality,” Jern points out. “Our user testing and pilots show that customers trust the LED light that indicates water safety and wish to learn more about their tap water. We are therefore confident that there will be a great demand for the product.” The total addressable market for TAPP X is almost 600 million bottled water consumers around the world. In addition, water suppliers have already shown great interest as knowing the quality of the water from each household tap will help them make decisions about water infrastructure maintenance and repairs. TAPP X is thus a game changer as it gives consumers peace of mind knowing the filtered tap water they are drinking every day is clean and safe. “This technology is the next step in providing affordable, clean drinking water to all while creating awareness about water consumption and battling harmful waste from plastic bottles,” Jern concludes.

Keywords

TAPP X, tap water, filter, sensor, water quality, plastic, cartridge

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