It’s taken 30 years, but US pollution prevention law is finally getting the tech support it’s always needed. As smart technology trickles into the sewers, data-driven insights are handing utilities and treatment facilities a clear view of both the challenges they face and the solutions they need. I spoke to Rick Reibstein, lecturer in Environmental Law and Policy at Boston University, and member of the board of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, to get to the bottom of what source detection can achieve for US pollution reduction.

‘Source reduction’ — finding sources of pollution and stopping harmful contaminants from being released in the first place — is key to improving environmental and public health, and reducing utility costs.

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Last month, hackers gained control of a Florida water treatment plant in an attempt to poison the water supply and threaten the health of thousands of Floridians. That attack was stopped before the intended damage could be done, but what can we learn from the event and how can we stop incidents like it from happening again?

Max Howells

A freelance content and projects consultant, specialising in the water and environmental technologies sectors.

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