Fall 2009

ASC Droplets

Patent Awarded for Water Treatment Device

A water treatment apparatus developed in a business partnership between Sea Grant and Pentair Water Treatment (Sheboygan, WI) received a patent in July 2009. The device is composed of a UV light bulb surrounded by a stack of thirty plastic rings coated with titatania (TiO2) that distribute the UV rays. The photocatalytic process rids contaminated water of organics, heavy metals and bacteria. Since no filters are used, there are fewer maintenance requirements than other point-of-use drinking water treatment systems. UW–Madison Engineering Professor Marc A. Anderson and Ph.D. student Timothy Lee were awarded a Sea Grant-Industrial Fellowship from 2004–06 resulting in the development of this product.

The Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Programs Office, Gary Gulezian, visited Madison and Milwaukee in July in a solicitation for public comment on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Wisconsin was the first of the eight Great Lakes states that EPA visited in an effort to jump-start clean-up efforts. EPA has established five focus areas for the first round of projects: toxic substances; invasive species; nonpoint source pollution and the health of nearshore environments; wildlife and habitat restoration; and program administration, including accountability, monitoring and evaluation. The initiative is backed by up to $475 million. “This is one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in years,” said Larry McDonald, who sits on the Wisconsin Sea Grant Advisory Council, as quoted in the New York Times.

Asian Carp Threaten Lake Michigan

The $18-million electronic barrier used to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal—and ultimately, Lake Michigan—should do its job effectively, particularly now that the voltage has been doubled to two volts per square inch. But there may be yet another way the fish can end up where they are least wanted. DNA evidence shows that the fish are present in the Des Plaines River, which is in some places only a few yards away from the canal. A heavy January rain over frozen ground may be all that is needed to wash invasive Asian carp from the Des Plaines floodplain into the canal, according to Wisconsin Sea Grant’s Phil Moy. A higher levee could keep the fish from making their escape.

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents