AI Startup Gives Sustainable Wastewater Management a High-Tech Refresh

Clean water is one of the highest sustainability priorities worldwide, and industrial manufacturers are turning to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies to meet the challenge. In Australia, startup Streamwise D.I. has developed an AI-powered intelligence platform providing industrial-grade digitization for wastewater treatment.

“Manufacturers across a range of industries process water that is on the scale of megaliters per day,” said Abhyuday Bhartia, chief technology officer at Streamwise D.I. “Our devices and decision intelligence platform guide companies through collecting the right data and give them the tools to effortlessly find insights. This transparency lowers operational costs and risk while improving the organization’s ability to meet compliance regulations.”

Streamwise D.I.’s blue chip customers include recognized brands in the food and beverage, mining, and chemicals industries, as well as municipal water authorities. Customers can gain business value early with smaller initial projects while making further improvements over time.

Bubbling Up Process Inefficiencies

The Streamwise D.I. platform collects real-time information from cameras, IoT-based sensors, and other instruments installed on machinery at the customer’s facilities. The data becomes a “digital twin” that feeds into a cloud-based dashboard, where it’s analyzed and shared as action items with designated team members. People have immediate access to the information through their mobile device or Web browser.

“Within an hour of turning on the system, operations teams can quickly see water contaminant levels and if operations are out of compliance with regulations,” said Bhartia. “Over time, the algorithms calculate asset and process inefficiencies, as well as environmental compliance with that company’s municipal trade waste agreements.”

Among the biggest regulatory mandates is the volume and type of chemicals that manufacturers use in wastewater treatment. The issue is as much about regulatory compliance as cost-savings.

“Using the data, the operator can adjust mechanisms and treatment processes to stay in compliance and achieve great efficiencies,” said Bhartia. “With historical and real-time data, the platform can create what-if scenarios, and make automated operational control and management decisions. Companies may discover they’re using types and levels of chemicals that aren’t necessary.”

One customer, an Australian cereal manufacturer, significantly lowered wastewater treatment operating costs by reducing unnecessary chemical usage. A dairy processing plant lowered trade waste charges by 26% and operator oversight by 80% for a total savings of over one-quarter of a million dollars each year.

Data Reduces Operational Expenses

Addressing environment, sustainability, and corporate governance (ESG) imperatives also hinges on operational efficiencies. In monitoring and analyzing data from water treatment operations, Bhartia said that Streamwise D.I. delivers insights with far-reaching sustainable business impact.

“Are operations working to their optimized efficiency? Are they working to agreed-upon specifications, or are they actually failing? Does equipment need maintenance or replacement?” he said. “Understanding and acting on all of these issues affects efficiencies for energy savings too.”

Digital Intelligence Modernizes Wastewater Treatment

Bhartia has been with Streamwise D.I. since it transitioned into a digital services platform. He agreed with the startup’s founder, Alastair Lockey, that AI had the power to modernize wastewater treatment, closing the gap between business exigencies and sustainability mandates.

“Wastewater treatment systems are inefficient and extremely complex with unique environments and operations,” said Bhartia. “We knew intelligent digitalization could help simplify processes, providing operators with actionable insights to meet operational targets, budget objectives, and regulatory mandates. There’s enormous global potential to make a real difference for business and the environment worldwide.”

Incredible Sustainability Partnership with SAP.iO

Streamwise D.I. was part of the energy and natural resource cohort of SAP.iO Foundry Singapore. Bhartia found value in SAP’s hands-on product commercialization and go-to-market support.

“It’s been an incredible opportunity working with SAP. We’ve learned so much from SAP’s experts, and their validation of our solution has provided us with greater market credibility and visibility,” he said. “Being integrated with SAP Asset Intelligence Network increases our collective sustainability impact for industrial water management customers globally.”

Streamwise D.I. is available on SAP Store.

Tech Can Turn Back the Water Pollution Tide

Sustainable business demands technologies to head off increasingly dire predictions about our quality of life and very survival. The World Bank said that around 80% of the world’s wastewater is returned to the environment without adequate treatment. These experts predicted that two-thirds of the world’s population could be water stressed by 2025. But they also made it clear that “change is possible…Increased awareness, strengthened prevention, and smart investments using new technology are needed to turn back the tide of water pollution.”


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This blog also appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.