Rising Alabama startup aims to eliminate waste with water-saving technology

January 28, 2016

An unfortunate accident in 2014 is the inspiration behind The Ark Labs, a rising north Alabama startup that aims to eliminate inefficiency and damage caused by water leaks in homes.

Robbie Hillis, CEO of the Florence-based business, came up with the idea for a water-saving technology after his then 2 ½-year-old daughter left a faucet running for about 14 hours in his home.

The Ark’s machine-learning device recognizes water patterns and sends alerts to users when it detects change. The product, endorsed by water advocacy groups, has the potential to eliminate $8 billion in water losses a year in the U.S. alone.

“What we’ve come up with is the technology to help focus on preventing any type of catastrophic, major, getting into insurance types of events,” he said. “And then also, we can detect down to a drip so that leaky faucet or leaky toilet can be addressed.”

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average house wastes about 10,000 gallons of water a year or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. The most common types of home leaks are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.

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