Product Spotlight - Wastewater: August 2021

Product Spotlight - Wastewater: August 2021

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Program offers instant wastewater tests via smartphone

Staying on top of effluent quality is one of the most important duties of a wastewater operator. However, for plants that don’t have their own on-site laboratories, waiting around for results on shipped-out samples simply isn’t efficient.

That’s where opseyes comes in. According to opseyes founder Bryan Arndt, test results can be submitted in three easy steps, taking only 10 minutes to return — without ever leaving the plant.

“Opseyes can produce a microscopy report in under 10 minutes, not 10 days, and anyone can do it without any formal training,” he says. “This means plant operators no longer need to leave the plant to ship anything, and there are no classes required. It also means if there is a problem, plant operators can be aware of it and take remedial action immediately.”

The process is simple. All the operator needs to do is simply add a few drops of mixed liquor or foam to a microscope slide, take pictures of the magnified sample with their phone, then upload the photos to an opseyes account. An emailed diagnostic report is then available in minutes.

“All you need is a smartphone and a bracket which we provide to get started,” Arndt says. “The bracket holds the smartphone camera over the eyepiece to take pictures of the activated sludge. We only need around four photos of a sample to be able to send back a report that either gives the wastewater the green light or diagnoses issues along with remedial recommendations.”

The technology was developed by a team of wastewater engineers, consultants and scientists from Ramboll. Thousands of images of filaments had to be generated and masked to train the artificial intelligence. “Masking is boxing in the filament and identifying it so the AI can learn on a pixel-by-pixel basis,” Arndt says. “Then various learning models had to be tested to see which one made the best AI.”  

When used weekly, opseyes technology essentially operates as an early warning indicator. The filaments show developing problems before they affect the operations of a plant. “Why wait for trouble and have to spend money on defoamer or settling chemicals when you can fix the issue before it starts?” Arndt says. “Existing testing doesn’t enable plant operators to test as regularly as this, due to the wait time to receive results.” 615-277-7501;


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