Innovation Spotlight: OptiRTC

storm drain

Imagine that you could use sensors to proactively control water levels and distribution in storms. Rather than waiting on imminent problems to occur, cities can use Opti technology from OptiRTC to control infrastructure in order to ensure stability. Using the rainfall forecast, Opti autonomously controls the water level in flood control ponds to prevent flooding in cities across the country. It does this by draining the water before the storm.

Most existing infrastructure handles storm water passively. These systems, designed for a targeted event or average performance over the long term, often function poorly and contribute to negative environmental impacts including combined sewer overflows, poor water quality, and flash flooding. Opti products address this issue by combining lightweight Internet of things (IoT) hardware and powerful cloud-computing engines to predictively and autonomously control storm water based on the forecasted rainfall.

Opti can do this for thousands of distributed facilities from a single platform. Using readily available, industrial-grade components, users easily retrofit existing storm water ponds and cisterns with a water level sensor and an actuated valve. These components communicate to a cloud-based platform through a cellular connection. Once in the cloud, Opti’s algorithms combine this on-site data with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rainfall forecast to make the best decision on how to control the water in real-time, before the storm.

Opti’s patented intelligent control technology enables municipalities and corporate landowners to meet their multi-billion-dollar mandate to prevent water pollution, waste, and flooding at a dramatically reduced cost. It helps storm water managers to dependably keep their watersheds safe, in compliance, and avoid costly regulatory fines.

In addition to performing in the field, Opti technology provides access to historical and real-time data streams that can be used to both prove and improve system performance. Opti systems can capture over 90% of the wet-weather flow for a 50-95% lower cost than the traditional solution. Depending on the application, the technology can offer a CAPEX reduction of up to 90% and whole life cost reduction of up to 40% when compared to other storm water control solutions.

Based in Boston, Opti technology is currently deployed at 100+ sites across the US in places like Chicago, Omaha Austin, the EPA, and Nestle Waters. They are recipients of the Texas Rain Catcher Award, RISE:NYC (Resiliency Innovations for a Stronger Economy:New York City) and are members of the New England Water Innovation Network (NEWIN), The Water Council, and ReNUWIt. They presented in the Smart City Challenge at the Smart Cities Connect Innovation Summit in Austin, Texas. Learn about them online, or talk to them on Twitter @optirtc.