Opti is Using Particle to Stop Floods Before They Start


With global climate change a fact, one of the effects is an increase of the incidence of extreme precipitation events, with 9 of the top 10 years for single-day rainfall having happened since 1990. At the same time, more and more of the world’s population is moving into cities – more than half of people already live in urban areas. This is making it necessary for cities to grow, and making it harder for rainwater to absorb into the ground.

All of that has driven Opti to create what it is calling “The Internet of Stormwater.” The company’s new smart storm water management system is designed to proactively monitor weather forecasts and automatically control flood control valves in order to reduce flooding. Opti has partnered with Particle to be its connectivity provider and the company has more than 130 platform installations across the United States. Major cities have gotten into the platform, like Kansas City, MO, Philadelphia, and Albany.

In Ormond Beach, Florida, Opti’s CMAC system was used to mitigate the effects of 2017’s Hurricane Irma. After analyzing real-time forecasts and reports from the National Weather Service, the Opti platform and response team preemptively discharged 70 acre-feet of water from a large, interconnected lake system in the area. Follow-up analysis reportedly found it highly likely that the lakes would have exceeded their flood stage if it weren’t for the system.

The CMAC platform is in use in Brooklyn, New York. New York’s aging infrastructure ha smade flooding a perennial problem, and even is in violation of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) regulations during most storm events. Opti’s platform can and does preemptively drain ponds ahead of wet weather in the Botanical Gardens to avoid such violations. Opti reportedly has been able to keep roughly 2.7 million gallons of storm water out of the city’s combined sewers over a 6-month period.

According to the recent announcement, Opti is now relying on the Particle platform’s flexibility to power its growth.

“Our system affects the effective capacity of your storage infrastructure,” said Alex Bedig, Co-Founder and VP of Information and Technology at Opti, in a recent whitepaper. “Municipalities are able to get much better results out of their stormwater management system, without undergoing a major civil engineering project.”

The standard suite of hardware for the platform can be configured in a number of different ways, allowing the platform to interface with a various infrastructures and make it easier for municipalities and private commercial customers to slowly scale deployments.

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

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