Shining the light on contaminated water

When a water supply is contaminated, people are usually ordered to boil their H2O. But if Curt Elmore’s emergency drinking water system proves reliable, people will be able to drink water that has been treated with ultraviolet energy.


Elmore, GeoE’86, an associate professor of geological engineering at Missouri S&T, is working on a portable prototype of the system for the U.S. Army. The Leonard Wood Institute has provided more than $245,000 to support the research.
Elmore’s drinking water system, which runs on wind and solar power, could be deployed to disaster sites or combat areas. According to Elmore, water can be pumped from a pond or stream into the system, where it is then exposed to energy from a UV lamp.
The UV lamp, which looks like a fluorescent light bulb, is capable of destroying bacteria and even explosives compounds in groundwater. In Elmore’s prototype, the treated water is stored in a tank and delivered to thirsty consumers through a spigot. “For example, people staying at emergency shelters could fill personal water bottles while they wait out a disaster,” he says.
Elmore plans to test the system at Fort Leonard Wood in the coming year. He says the prototype can be hauled by a pick-up truck and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.

Around the Puck

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Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

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Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

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Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

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