New lead sensor for water lines and water taps in homes


To be aware of water in the city and the water in home. A new electronic Lead sensor developed and affordable at $20. The sensor alerts the officials or the household the presence of lead in the water.

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The new sensor designed and developed at U-M by Mark Burns, the T.C. Chang Professor of Chemical Engineering. This sensor is placed at key points in city water systems as well as at the taps in homes. It distinguishes between lead and other metals like iron.

Lead shows up at 15 parts per billion

It consists of two pairs electrodes. The positive electrode and neutral electrode make electron-poor environment. While the negative electrode and neutral create an electron-rich environment.

The negative electrode offers electrons to positive ions, capturing most metals. Moreover, the metals oxidized in water, meaning they’ve given up some of their electrons, so they prefer an opportunity to get electrons back.

However, lead attracted to the positive side of the electrode set it to only contaminant metal loses more electrons and oxidizes further.  As lead builds on positive electrode, it reaches the neutral electrode. Closing the circuit and generating one-volt voltage the system registers hit.

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Finally, Lead shows up at 15 parts per billion. This level of exposure thought to elevate blood levels in adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control.