Apana Interview: Reduce Waste, Use Water Efficiently

Originally published on CIO Applications

According to the US EPA, the industrial sector consumes 18.2 billion gallons of water every day, constituting 5 percent of total public water distribution. Unfortunately, when industries discharge their refuse into nearby rivers or to the sewers, it converts a considerable percentage of the allocated supply to wastewater, unusable by anyone. This waste even contributes to an increase in direct and indirect production costs in the industry. If a company decides to remain unaffected by the status quo on water usage, it will only see a rise in its expenditure and a subsequent decline in its profits. Enter Apana-a Water Efficiency as a Service {WEaaS} solution provider that monitors their water consumption effectively and, in turn, aids in reducing their production costs, improve their equipment life, and boost their overall performance.

In an interview with CIO Applications, Matt Rose, CEO & Co-Founder, Matt Maher Peterson, CTO, and Don Lanham, VP of Sales, Apana, tell the readers how their loT solution of the same name can help clients effectively use water, reduce waste, and consequently improve their operations and overall business processes.

What are the factors that spurred the conception of Apana?

Rose: We started as a wastewater treatment business that built treatment plants for commercial centers without access to the municipal sewer. While automating, monitoring, and controlling these plants remotely, we can tell the story of what’s going on within a building, its processes, and equipment. Consequently, we determined the normal and abnormal use of water, which marked the genesis of Apana. We learned that over 99 percent of most commercial and industrial buildings do not manage or keep track of water use when studying the market. We see an opportunity that can provide significant business value to the customer. In fact, we have reduced water consumption within our customer portfolio of 800 sites across four countries by 22 percent.

The next step was to scale down our solution to make it easier to connect hard-to-reach water meters like the ones within walls or inside equipment to the cloud. For that, we hired a team of ex-military UAV drone designers to help build a telemetry system for loT to connect such meters to high integrity, high service level networks. 

Don: In the past, our customers measured everything except water. They measure material yield, productivity, time loss accidents, and many other things. Our solution from the genesis was able to report, measure, and allow commercial and industrial businesses to manage their water consumption better. As a result, Apana was able to reduce a client’s production cost by at least 22 percent and its efficient water monitoring increased the life of many of their equipment that needed water for their operation. 

For companies that follow water management best practices and recognize the benefits of submetering after the main meter, the meters are in hard-to-reach places. Getting meter reads manually is inefficient and error-prone.

What are some of the data points that your clients can glean from proper analysis of the water they are using or wasting for the matter? How does Apana help in the investigation? 

Don: Our customers now view water efficiency and water metrics as a leading indicator of overall performance. So, if you’re sloppy with water, you’re careless with other parts of the business. The key metric they use for water analysis is tying the number of gallons of water used to the unit of the finished product produced. That way, if there are five areas in a production line, they can use Apana to check the water consumption per area easily. 

Peterson: Many businesses have cooling towers for refrigeration and building cooling purposes. Those USE a ton of water and are very expensive to repair and even more expensive to replace. We’re able to help ou1 clients maintain and operate them efficiently. Apana also works for Water Softeners, Heaters, RO Systems Filtering Systems, and any other equipment that consider water as an essential part of their function.