Free Software Helps Detect Oil Contamination

From: Windmill Software Ltd
Published: Wed Apr 27 2005

When underground water is contaminated by oil, environmental agencies need to find the source and extent of the pollution. Traditionally this has been difficult to establish but researchers at the University of Waterloo (Canada), with the help of Windmill software, are working on an answer.

The scientists inject a solution of bromide and other tracer chemicals into the water. When these tracers hit the contamination, some are delayed more than others. Downstream, the team continuously pump up the water and monitor the tracers. The differences in breakthough times of each tracer lets them estimate the total mass and distribution of the subsurface oil pools.

To accurately measure the breakthrough of bromide they use Windmill Software with an Orion pH meter equipped with a bromide selective electrode. Dr Niels Hartog, one of the scientists involved in the project, commented...
"With Windmill reading the serial output of the meter, I was easily able to continously log bromide concentrations in the extraction wells."

The software stores the data in a text file which can later be imported into almost any Windows analysis software, such as Excel.

Windmill is a suite of data acquisition and control software running under Microsoft Windows. The handheld Orion meter, for performing pH and concentration measurements, is just one of the many devices which can be handled by Windmill.

For more information visit or contact:
Windmill Software Ltd,
PO Box 58,
North District Office,
M8 8QR,
Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782
Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190
Company: Windmill Software Ltd
Contact Name: Dr Graham Collins
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: +44 (0)161 833 2782

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