An Irish company is on a mission to clean up water, well to clean up water data that is; recently opening an office in Toronto, Klir is looking to move water compliance to the cloud.
Klir is a software startup from Dublin, Ireland that recently made the move to North America, opening its international sales office in downtown Toronto.
CEO and co-founder David Lynch, who is now based out of Toronto, said Klir chose to move into the North American market after gaining experience in Europe and seeing that cities here were having the same problems with water quality and compliance. “Water is a bipartisan issue for the most part,” Lynch told ITBusiness.ca.
Mentioning places like Walkerton, Ont., which had an E. coli outbreak thanks to its water treatment plant in 2000, that ended up killing six, as well as the ongoing drinking water concerns with Flint, Mich. – Lynch stated that Klir’s goal is to make water safer by making compliance easier to navigate.
Moving water compliance to the cloud
Lynch brings the expertise in water and his co-founder Elaine Kelly (Klir’s chief operating officer) brings the expertise in compliance. Together the software company is bringing a technology-based approach to the water management industry to helping make compliance checking easier for both urban waste and drinking water.
Klir’s cloud-based system is built off of Microsoft Azure, but customized by the company’s in-house team to specifically meet the needs of the water industry, Lynch told ITBusiness.ca.
Water utility plants and management systems can use the platform to gather, monitor, and analyze regulatory compliance data into one web-based application.
“Basically this allows [utilities] to better quantify and mitigate risk to the environment and human health,” said Lynch, [this] ultimately means [utilities] are going to make water safer, quicker.”
Currently, a utility’s data comes from and is stored in many different sources, for example, multiple spreadsheets, Lynch explained, “industry reports say that regulation management accounts for the majority of operational efforts and comes with substantial costs.
“When it comes down to it, there is no single source of truth and time is taken up just chasing data from various sources,” he told ITBusiness.ca.
Not only does Klir collect data it can help water utility plants with permits management, early detection of violations or root causes for non-compliance while automating corrective actions and help implement strategies for preventative risk management and investment planning.
On top of that Klir’s also claims to help make water utilities more sustainable by implementing practices like watershed and leakage management, as well as helping with the merging of supplies.
However, no two water systems will necessarily be the same, said Lynch stating that Klir’s services can be customized based on the specific needs of its customers to ensure they have a system that works best for them.
Fixing Ireland’s water problems
Only founded in 2017, Klir has already seen success working with Irish Water Ltd., (which is the country’s national water utility), to make its treatment plants EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) compliant.
Ireland and its thousands of wastewater treatment plants were having a problem with how wastewater regulations were managed. “Regulators were not complaint as a country in Ireland and because of that we discharged into our rivers,” said Lynch.
To help, Klir used its platform to keep track of vast amounts of information. Irish Water was able to integrate Klir’s platform with the EPA’s regulatory information and was able to keep track of all staff and regulator correspondences and interactions with the EPA.
Klir hopes to continue success
By naming Toronto as its international sales office Klir is looking to bring that success to North America. He told ITBusiness.ca the software company has gained a lot of experience in Europe and is ready to bring that here.
The small startup is still looking to grow its client base – so far in North America, it has landed a contract with the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which plans to implement Klir’s technology “as part of a pilot project aimed at increasing the efficiency of water management and environmental permits,” Klir stated in a blog post.
One advantage Lynch feels Klir has is its platform is more cost effective than other similar IQ systems that water utilities typically work with.
He stated that these types of systems typically offered by Deloitte or Accenture can cost multi-millions and that price tag isn’t always plausible for smaller water managers servicing the majority of the Canadian population. While Lynch didn’t share exact costs, quoting variance due to custom built systems, he stated that Klir comes at a fraction of the cost.
While the company doesn’t have any Canadian-based customers at the time this story was published, Lynch said Klir sees major potential in this area and is working hard to win business with major cities across the country.