Melbourne has some of the best drinking water in the world. Clear, clean water runs so effortlessly from our taps, we take that quality for granted. Victorian water is tested regularly to ensure it meets strict quality requirements—and MIC Greensborough business Bio2Lab undertakes such quality monitoring and assessment.
Bio2Lab is an environmental research consultancy that provides innovative solutions for water quality monitoring and assessment.
“Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today,” says co-founder Dave Sharley. “The health and economic costs can no longer be ignored.”
Bio2Lab diagnoses and locates pollution sources in urban waterways. “Water scarcity is becoming a major global problem—access to clean water is critical for human and environmental health,” Dave explains. “Diagnosis of pollution impacts and sources is a key step in dealing with them—our technology makes this first step so cheap and easy that we can’t afford not to use it.”
Locating stormwater pollution sources is difficult and expensive, but Dave and co-founder Steve Marshall use innovative technology that simplifies the process and reduces costs. Samplers can be deployed for extended periods of time into aquatic environments to determine contaminant concentrations.
A major advantage of their samplers is the ability to function without power, so they can be installed at many sites simultaneously to build up a profile of pollution sources across a catchment.
“We also use real-time environmental sensors based on cheap and accessible software and hardware to make live monitoring of water quality more affordable,” Dave says. “Development of a web-based platform that will allow spatially-explicit environmental data to be viewed and interrogated is a major goal of our company moving forward.”
Bio2Lab provides services to local councils, catchment managers such as Melbourne Water, regulatory authorities such as EPA Victoria, and individual businesses seeking to better manage their stormwater pollution footprint.
Both Dave and Steve have a long-term interest in water quality. “I’ve always been passionate about cleaning up rivers and creeks and protecting the environment, so I love that I get paid to pursue this every day,” Steve says.
The team moved into Melbourne Innovation Centre in July, appreciating that the incubator is agile, modern, clean, professional, and provides the opportunity to work with similar innovative businesses.
The future for Bio2Lab looks busy. “We see huge market potential in developing countries where water quality is often poor, but resources are limited.”
And the end goal?
“To put ourselves out of business by making water pollution a thing of the past!”