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U.S. Department of Homeland Security-certified early warning system can alert officials to contamination in real time
As new world records were being set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Hach GuardianBlue Early Warning System was quietly and carefully analyzing the drinking water to guard against potential contaminants.
China spent $6.5 billion on security for the games to protect the 10,000 athletes, 30,000 journalists, 80 heads of state and others gathering in and around the national stadium, the Olympic Village and surrounding hotels. GuardianBlue was included in the state-of-the-art security measures to quickly alert officials in the event contaminants were introduced into water supplies.
China's Beijing Health Ministry chose the GuardianBlue early warning system several months before the games after reviewing recommendations on how to guard against intentional contamination of water supplies. GuardianBlue has proven to be the best option for continuous and accurate screening for water quality anomalies that would characterize an intentional contamination of the water supply. Hach technicians were also contracted to provide expertise in site selections and installation of the early warning systems.
GuardianBlue is the first and only early warning system for drinking water certified and designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an approved product for security. Once every minute, the system measures and analyzes sensor data from five state-of-the-art water quality sensors and calculates a trigger signal, which indicates a deviation from the water quality baseline. If significant deviations occur, the trigger signal alerts security officials in real time.
No deviations were reported during the games. If there had been, the monitor would have notified security personnel immediately while also instantly signaling automatic samplers to capture real-time water samples at designated monitoring locations. In the event of a contamination, the system uses the GuardianBlue Agent Library to classify the deviation. The library contains fingerprints for a wide variety of threat contaminants, ranging from VX and ricin to arsenic and herbicides.