Talking Under Water Episode 76: Monitoring microplastics

Sept. 15, 2023
In this episode, the hosts discuss the final WOTUS amendment, recent Xylem news, and share an interview with PolyGone co-founders, who discuss their technology and microplastics.

In this episode of Talking Under Water, the hosts share the latest news from Xylem regarding its acquisition and C-suite leadership, final amendments to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and the EPA’s new priorities for 2024 to 2027 including PFAS initiatives. Additionally, co-host Bob Crossen interviews Nathaniel Banks, co-founder and chief technology officer of PolyGone and Yidian Liu, co-founder of PolyGone, two Princeton researchers developing technology to monitor and remove microplastics from water ways. 

Show Notes:   


  • Cold open | 0:00
  • Host introductions | 1:16
  • Episode summary | 1:37
  • Xylem CEO succession plan | 2:11
  • Final WOTUS rule | 3:58
  • New EPA enforcement priorities | 6:07
  • Interview with PolyGone begins | 8:48
  • How prolific microplastics are in waterways | 9:04
  • How microplastics are defined | 10:34
  • How did you get interested in microplastics research? | 11:17
  • What is the nature of your research? | 12:57
  • Developing more reliable datasets | 14:43
  • How storms increase microplatic counts in water | 16:13
  • Municipal pilots for PolyGone technology | 17:03
  • Correlations between microplastics and PFAS | 18:42
  • The last line of defense | 20:10
  • The biggest challenge for addressing microplastics | 20:45
  • Microplastics study in Canada | 21:55
  • Eager and exciting future | 23:48
  • Housekeeping | 25:04


About the Podcast   

Talking Under Water is the premier podcast for the water industry, including municipal and industrial water and wastewater, residential water treatment, storm water management and erosion control. It is produced in coordination between Water & Wastes Digest (WWD), Water Quality Products (WQP) and Storm Water Solutions (SWS). The podcast covers topics under the One Water movement including the municipal and industrial water and wastewater, point of use, point of entry, residential, storm water and erosion control markets. Talking Under Water highlights news, trends, new technologies, industry discussions and on-site interviews with experts for WWD, WQP and SWS. New episodes of the podcast are released on the third Friday of every month. Logo Images: Anatoly Tiplyashin / Romolo Tavani /   

Contact the Talking Under Water podcast editors by emailing [email protected] engaging with them on Twitter @TUWpodcast. Join the conversation by commenting or using the hashtag #talkingunderwaterpod on social media.  

About the Author

Mandy Crispin

Mandy Crispin is the editor-in-chief of WaterWorld, having joined Endeavor Business Media in 2023. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a graduate of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has internal and external corporate communications experience in disparate industries including online retail, gaming, plastics and is now enjoying exploring the water utility space. Crispin can be reach at [email protected].

About the Author

Katie Johns

Katie Johns, editor-in-chief of Storm Water Solutions and Water Quality Products, graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Johns joined the Storm Water Solutions team in September 2019. Johns also helps plan the annual StormCon conference and co-hosts the Talking Under Water podcast. Prior to entering the B2B industry, she worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Sarasota, Florida, and a magazine assistant editor in the Chicago suburbs. She can be reached at [email protected]

About the Author

Bob Crossen

Bob Crossen is senior managing editor for WWD and iWWD. Crossen graduated from Illinois State University in Dec. 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He worked for Campbell Publications, a weekly newspaper company in rural Illinois outside St. Louis for four years as a reporter and regional editor.