Clean Tech is all wet

Summer’s comin. Sun, sand, beach and shiga toxin.

Shiga toxin?

Yep, it’s a gene that can make swimmers sick. And health departments don’t test for it in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania. They test for E. coli, an indicator bug that’s much better known, but isn’t always harmful. So the beach you visit may be “clean” for E. coli, but not shiga toxin. That can keep you up at night, literally (severe gastrointestinal illness).

A two-year study by Mercyhurst College says there’s a need for standardized tests for specific pathogens like shiga toxin to better protect the public.

Talk about a Clean Tech opportunity.

This is on top of other studies done in the past. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pushing tests for another indicator called enterococcus, which allow health departments to get dirty water results in 24 hours instead of 48 hours.

This is just another sign that the water technology field is bubbling with entrepreneurial possibilities, with also include purification and treatment.

A March 2008 Goldman Sachs report sees a $425 billion a year (and growing) global demand for technologies that clean, conserve, recycle, desalinate and pump water, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Just outside Milwaukee (Switzerland), there’s a conference later this month on Blue, Green and Gold, The Future of Water, Finance and the Environment.

A program for the event says blue is the new green when it comes to technology, and companies are being urged to track their water footprints like they track their carbon footprints.

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