Creating smart and sustainable wastewater services, reducing emissions, and empowering communities - though an IOT solution to monitor wastewater services for cities all over the world.

Kaninik Baradi
TU Delft
Complex Systems Engineering and Management

Over het initiatief / About the initiative


In welke fase zit jouw initiatief? / In what stage is your initiative?

Uitgewerkt conceptfase

Heb je jouw initiatief al gevalideerd? / Did you validate your initiative?

The initiative has been validated through extensive interviews with potential customers, stakeholders, and experts. We have also prepared financial models of the impact.

Meer informatie over jouw initiatief / More info about your initiative

Half the world today does not have access to safely managed sanitation services. Combined with aging infrastructure systems this leads to almost 80% of fecal waste being disposed without adequate treatment. Poor wastewater management is a lynchpin problem that impacts water pollution, public health, and greenhouse gas emissions globally.

The service has a SAM of 170 billion EUR in 2022, with potential to quickly expand into related areas like industrial wastewater, and sewer system management. MoniTrd can also supplement the core commission-based business model by partnering with value added service providers like micro-finance or with monetization of building data.

MoniTrd has already secured strategic partnerships in its beachhead market. The non-profit think tank, Urban Management Centre, which is among the leading voices in wastewater management has committed to support for testing the prototypes in real world conditions.

Two cities, Cuttack and Jatni, in Odisha, India, have also lent their support to a pilot through letters of commitment. They will support training the first set of Desludgers, communication with building owners, and granting the required permission for collection of data.

Monitrd is raising 10k in funds towards a controlled testing environment with simulated fecal sludge. This will enable safe testing of the prototypes, and the development of performance benchmarks which can then be validated in septic tanks.

Wat is er anders/nieuw aan jouw idee/oplossing t.o.v. bestaande oplossingen? / What is different/new about your idea/solution compared to existing solutions??

The current state of the art in fecal sludge management consists of a) Scheduled Desludging, b) App based service delivery.

The strategic problems with both are:

  1. There is a significant upfront cost of conducting surveys, drafting plans, and planning routes. Most homeowners don’t know any details about their system and cannot answer any questions around capacity.
  2. Conducting site inspections of tanks requires skilled workers and engineers, which quickly becomes expensive and doesn’t scale.
  3. What have u written about app based service delivery???

Comparisons to other sensor based solutions

Competing solution attempting to create sensor based monitoring tools for septic tanks include Sensoneo, and Septic Sitter. Both these products have the following flaws:

  1. They are measuring only the total volume of fluid in the tank and are unable to differentiate between the sludge and the water in the tank. The total volume in a well-functioning septic tank does not change. The system would be unable to predict time to failure.
  2. The sensor price point comes out to be over 200 EUR per unit, with additional requirements of a hub and a subscription for cloud access.
  3. The sensor products are aimed at individual households and building owners, who are not necessarily interested in septic tank data.
  4. The installation of the sensors is invasive and time consuming.

Wat zijn jouw volgende stappen om het verder te ontwikkelen? / What are your next steps to develop the initiative?

MoniTrd has already achieved a few important milestones.

  • Market Validation: 14 Validation interviews with a range of experts, stakeholders, customers, and philanthropic funders.
  • Pilot Partners: Secured the Municipal Corporation of Cuttack, Odisha, and Municipality of Jatni, Odisha in India as local government pilot partners. Secured Urban Management Centre, a national non-profit in India to support training and engagement with desludgers for the pilot.
  • Pre-Incubator Stage Competitions: Won the Delft Enterprise Award from the TU Delft Impact Contest, Shortlisted for the Climate Launchpad competition, and the OnDeck Founder’s Bootcamp, as well as in the Erasmus University Challenge

Proof of Concept

September 2023

The proof of concept will demonstrate the core technologies that are used to measure the quantities of the sludge, and to collect data on performance and lifetime of the device. User acceptance will be evaluated on aspects like installation method, analytics provided by device, etc.


February 2024

A prototype for the MoniTrd  system is 100+ devices, installed in the service area of a Desludger, and made available to them for work planning. The test will evaluate system performance in real world conditions, impact on workflow, and challenges due to household behavior, or large commercial septic tanks. The sensors would remain free to the users, and demonstrate the cost savings for an individual Desludger.

Pilot Program

September 2024

The pilot implementation would cover the mass manufacture of sensors, and their implementation with 3 local government partners. This pilot would still provide the sensors to the desludgers for free. The pilot would demonstrate the benefits to the local government and treatment plant once the system is implemented at scale. The program would seek philanthropic funding and evaluate environmental benefits over a long period of the program.


Wat heb je nodig om (nog meer) impact te maken met dit initiatief? / What do you need to make (more) impact with this initiative?

The key resource that is needed is opportunities to partner with engineering and manufacturing teams that can accelerate the production of the system prototypes and pilots. The total investment needed to reach this scale is around 200k EUR and technical support is needed to validate the life span and safety of the device when it is disposed.