What: Optiqua
Where: Enschede
Who: Jos-Willem Verhoef
Since: 2006
Source: Optiqua

Safe drinking water

Optiqua has developed a sensor with the size of a chip that is able to detect a sudden pollution in drinking water online. The company has in recent years, along with drinking water company Vitens and PUB Singapore’s water company, worked on the development of sensor technology that is originated at the University of Twente.

These optical sensors measure the light passing through the water in the pipes. The sensor measures changes in the refractive index of water. Light is transported by water, and depending on the medium it runs slower or faster. Any substance that you add to water affects the refractive index. If the index changes, you know that the composition of water changes. This is contained in a smart way in the chip technology.

Based on this technology Optiqua develops two products. The first is Eventlab, a network of these sensors which can detect changes in the quality of a network and where these occur. The second product is the Minilab, a portable device that tells what is actually going on. This device tells within half an hour if there have been hazardous substances in the water. Due to the sensors of Optiqua companies are able to do water utilities measurements of laboratory skills outside the lab to perform at the pipes themselves.