In our ongoing series, KETOS Water Cooler Chats, we discuss water industry innovation – and how KETOS solves common industry challenges – including EPA compliant water monitoring.
Recently, KETOS CEO Meena Sankaran and Kevin Kinder of Watter Advisory Group fielded questions regarding the award-winning KETOS Shield and showcased our unique approach to water quality testing across various industrial and municipal applications.
If you’d like to see the webinar recording in its entirety, please check out the video link at the bottom of this post.
WHAT sets KETOS Shield apart?
The digital aspect of water monitoring, specifically in the wastewater industry, is growing exponentially. KETOS is at the forefront not only due to our award-winning technology but also our unique business model.
When companies or municipalities adopt the KETOS Solution, they aren’t just purchasing hardware that tests for 20+ parameters. They are gaining access to a vertically integrated, EPA-compliant platform that automates water monitoring, testing, alerting, and data analysis enabling water operators to ensure that water used in a variety of applications – municipal, agriculture, and industrial – meet specific quality and safety standards.
KETOS replaces manual processes, eliminates wait times associated with lab results, provides automated data analysis, simplifies reporting, identifies problems before they happen, and fixes problems remotely.
In addition, KETOS offers a unique $0 CAPEX business model, meaning companies don’t have to invest in a capital purchase. In addition, there are no extra fees for hardware or software upgrades, maintenance, or support.
The Shield also offers cost savings at an institutional level, removing traditional expenditures associated with:
Labor (driving, collecting, and prepping samples, bringing them to the lab, etc.)
Time (specifically wait time and the cost to business waiting for results to compile)
Materials (overspend on chemicals/materials every month)
What is resonating with clients?
Generally, there is a push/pull dynamic between the compliance and operational side of any business. While Shield can help businesses and municipalities comply with regulatory standards, the solution can also help operators spot trends to catch problems before they arise.
Consider this: if you are an organization that needs to carefully balance your water’s chemical composition, having a solution that can give you mission-critical data in real-time you’re better able to balance the chemical composition. Companies can save money on treatment costs while correctly understanding their water’s underlying makeup – ultimately ensuring its safety.
What aspects of KETOS are a value add for the customer?
There are three main characteristics of the KETOS Shield solution that make it a value-add solution across industry and municipality applications:
Equipment and the cost of doing business.
Traditionally, industries would buy one piece of equipment to test one parameter and buy another piece of equipment to test another parameter. This was historically considered the cost of doing business. With KETOS, businesses and municipalities can now test for various parameters (from pH to heavy metals) from one device. And, with a $0 CAPEX business model, no funding for new equipment is required.
Big Data in Real-Time.
The real-time collection and sharing of data and the considerable number of data points collected simultaneously from one device is a significant selling point for clients. KETOS Shield replaces an antiquated way of testing parameters while providing even more insight into water quality and composition.
In addition, operators often tell us that they have plenty of data, but they need help organizing it, structuring it, connecting it, and making sense of it. The KETOS platform automates much of that work and data analysis. In addition, the KETOS platform can be configured to receive data from other 3rd party systems. Most importantly, it frees up operators to leverage data to make great decisions – rather than spending countless hours trying to moonlight as a data architect and data scientist.
Extensive Contaminant Tracking
KETOS can measure many different target contaminants that apply to a variety of various market segments. Currently, the system monitors for 20+ contaminants, with more parameters added regularly.
Specific industrial use cases that would benefit from EPA compliant water monitoring
KETOS Shield is a universal system that has the power to transform many industrial activities. We’ve noticed companies making strong cases for the adoption of KETOS Shield in:
Well Fields: It takes manpower to monitor wells regularly, and currently, there are no real-time data collection solutions available in that particular space.
Health Systems: Monitoring the influent water to health campuses requires technology like KETOS Shield. These systems have to be monitored regularly and treated (in many cases) before the water hits the system itself. Many current systems treat their water past their city parameters and need a solution to monitor beyond EPA compliance.
The Food and Beverage Industry: Aseptic beverage producers need their water to be tested before mixing their products. It must be free of contaminants and specific quality to not affect flavoring.
The Energy Sector: While the applications within this particular industry are extensive, KETOS has noticed a very high interest in Shield’s capabilities.
There are countless other use cases across municipal, agricultural, and industrial applications where water directly impacts an important outcome.
KETOS most successful use cases
One of KETOS Shield’s most successful deployments has been publicly recognized internationally as our work with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA).
SNWA used KETOS Shield near an arsenic plant to test for chromium, nitrates, and other contaminants to protect Lake Mead’s water. The project was most recently recognized at the Global Water Summit Global Water Awards, sponsored by Dupont (where we received an Award of Distinction as Breakthrough Technology Company of the Year).
As a municipality, many are interested in using the Shield for multiple applications, including on the treatment side (to measure how potable the water is after being recycled).
Well testing has also been a strong niche for KETOS. While many municipalities may have a stat-certified lab in their utility, they may not have the capability to monitor wells that often cover thousands of square miles effectively. For municipalities, starting with well testing has become a path of least resistance as there’s generally less cost and less friction for adoption.
Another unique use case has been in the instances of utility mergers and acquisitions. Shield has been used to monitor the water quality of a utility for legal liability purposes (verifying a certain level of quality) throughout the legal process until a deal has been reached.
EPA compliant monitoring: The level of accuracy KETOS can provide
Many potential clients want the assurance of results that are equal to lab quality and offer levels of EPA compliant water monitoring. Currently, all of our contaminant measurements are +/- 10% of a MILAC certified lab. We don’t launch a new measurement unless we have solid confidence in our testing, achieving +/- 10%. As we refine our process, we add new contaminants to our list of monitored entities.
Recently, KETOS has added Selenium to our portfolio of measurable contaminants. We’ll add iron in 30 days, and lead and zinc will be available by the end of 2020. As we obtain confidence that we have lab precision monitoring capabilities, we add in the contaminant – and not before.
As these parameters are added, they are continuously optimized with the single purpose of meeting specificity and sensitivity targets. Most of our metals are at around 1pbb or 2ppb levels. We’re continually working on getting them to levels far below what EPA requirements currently dictate.
Our system also doesn’t have drift. It’s all a part of our proprietary mechanism that we’ve built. We simply don’t suffer from data degradation over time due to the innovative way the hardware has been designed.
Is KETOS offering EPA compliant water monitoring? How are regulatory agencies responding?
While KETOS Shield is EPA compliant, some organizations want to use the device for compliance, and others prefer to use it for process optimization. To date, that percentage is 80/20. We’re working with Federal and State regulatory agencies so that clients can use reports from a KETOS system to showcase compliance. To date, two states are accepting KETOS reports in this regard.
There’s an ongoing opportunity to collaborate more closely with regulatory agencies. While there will always be a place for the traditional lab environment, there is room for systems like KETOS that offers EPA compliant water monitoring. As we continue to build relationships with regulators, our goal is to balance the conventional lab requirements with real-time on-site monitoring and grow transparency and speed.
For more information about the KETOS Shield and vertically integrated KETOS Water Quality Solution – you can contact us at [email protected]