Startup Klir takes on those nasty amoebas in water, with software

Published on December 10, 2020

Irish startup, Klir, is looking to become the real-life Powerpuff Girls when it comes to keeping water safe and consumable. Already considered a pioneer in the “water-tech” industry, the scientists at Klir recently created a solution for deadly, brain-eating amoeba that swim in water.

Just like the Amoeba Boys in the cartoon show, an amoeba is a deadly unicellular organism that claims lives around the world. Amoebas are parasites that live at a range of temperatures, but thrive in warm water. For places around the world that can’t afford water filtration systems, these organisms prove deadly.

Already, a number of companies are using Klir’s smart software platform to optimize water regulation management procedures while enhancing profitability.

The deadly brain-eating amoeba

It turns out that amoebas don’t take prisoners. Naegleria fowleri, for example, a brain-eating amoeba found in warm water, boasts a fatality rate is over 97 percent. Out of 143 reported cases in the United States that date back to 1962, only four individuals survived.

Common causes of infection are the use of recreational water and contaminated tap water. Nasal irrigation using unsafe and untreated water can also cause such.

CEO and co-founder David Lynch claims that Klir’s technology can reduce a significant number of these cases.

“By bringing together all the data in a utility and proactively setting tasks for the operators, the time to act to reduce the risk of this amoeba getting into the system is greatly reduced.” — Klir CEO, David Lynch.

The approach aims to make utilities resilient to threats on public water supplies. It does not only tend to eliminate amoeba but other challenges across the industry. Lynch’s experiences in European cities with water quality and compliance problems inspired him to start this program. The decision to move Klir to North America aims to solve the same problems.

 “Water is a bipartisan issue for the most part.” — Klir CEO, David Lynch.

To that end, Klir partnered up with Toronto-based Green-Tech Environmental to help with environmental assessments.

Klir technology

Lynch, together with his co-founder and COO Elaine Kelly, bring their own specializations to running Klir. The two met at Accenture in 2010 when both were working on bespoke IT for regulators and utilities.

Since then, they have formed a software company that brings a technology-based approach to water management. It allows the industry to help make compliance checking easier for both urban waste and drinking water.

Cloud computing platform Microsoft Azure powers Klir’s system. The company has an in-house team that designs this cloud-based system to specifically meet the needs of the water industry.

The system allows water utility plants and management systems to gather, monitor, and analyze regulatory compliance data into one web-based application.

“This allows [utilities] to better quantify and mitigate risk to the environment and human health,” Lynch said. “Utilities are going to make water safer, quicker.”

Clean and safe water

Sources such as spreadsheets store a utility’s data. According to Lynch, regulation management accounts for the majority of operational efforts and 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,” Lynch said.

Klir not only helps water utility plants with permits management, but also troubleshoots possible issues. It can detect violations and root causes for non-compliance through data gathered.

The system automates corrective actions — thus implementing preventive strategies to eliminate risks. These preventive measures allow companies to do investment planning.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 10, 2020. 

Jaime Aldecoa is a staff writer at Grit Daily. He is an avid traveler, YouTube vlogger, and podcast host. He holds a degree in Mass Communication.

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