To Determine Water Quality, Blue Sources Listens to the Fish

One of the best ways to address a problem is to consult with experts. Sometimes those experts happen to be fish.

That is–roughly–the concept behind the Frederick-based Blue Sources , which uses live bluegill fish to provide water security by monitoring water quality and detecting the presence of toxic chemicals in both drinking water sources and toxic waste dumps effluent. Using computer algorithms that measure the biological responses of the bluegill (such as their respiratory rates), the company has developed an early warning system for water quality: the fish can indicate a problem with the water before anyone else might detect it.

Blue Sources, formed in 2015, uses technology developed at the U.S. Army Center for Environmental Health Research at Fort Detrick and licensed from the military. The company joined the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc.  (FITCI) business incubator in 2016 after realizing they needed help getting off the ground.