Kingston, Ontario-based TECTA-PDS has achieved considerable export success with the adoption of its system in more than 25 countries around the world. As the company expands its reach within existing markets, such as China, and enters new markets, communicating across language barriers will be key.
TECTA-PDS was founded in 2003 after the tragedy in Walkerton, Ontario when breakdowns in the local water system left the drinking water supply contaminated with E. coli. Seven people died and about half of the of the community’s nearly 5,000 residents were left sick as a result of the contamination.
To prevent other communities from facing the same circumstances, TECTA-PDS developed a microbiological water quality monitoring system. The system has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a variety of applications including drinking water, recreational water, and crop irrigation. The TECTA-B16 instrument is a fully automated solution that performs onsite regulatory compliance testing for all measures of drinking water quality, including E. coli and total coliform, and provides a reliable solution for protecting public health and lowering overall monitoring costs.
“Our technology is attracting a lot of attention for its ability to offer a shorter detection time, automatic results interpretation, and more advanced reporting compared to conventional water quality monitoring systems,” says Michael Miron, director of projects at TECTA-PDS. “In particular, the technology’s continuous monitoring and early warning capabilities offer significant advantages because they enable operators to respond to potential issues more quickly than the traditional methods.”
“For these reasons, we’ve seen a great deal of uptake of our technology around the world,” Miron says. “Our solution particularly excels in rural applications. However, we tend to run into language barriers in some communities. China is a key market for us, so we wanted to make our technology as easy as possible for users to integrate into their systems.”
Working with WaterTAP
“We learned about WaterTAP’s Growth Catalyst program [formerly called Direct Assistance] during Ontario Water Innovation Week 2017,” Miron says. “We enrolled in the program about a month later and started a project that partnered us with an expert to redevelop our technology’s software to incorporate Mandarin into the user interface. This was timely for us because it was a project we were planning to undertake in the near future.”
The re-development also incorporated Mandarin into the off-instrument emulator for sales support. This addition means that TECTA-PDS now has a full suite of Mandarin-encoded systems, which is important since China is a key market for the company and accounted for more than a quarter of its sales last year.
“Thanks to the Growth Catalyst program, we now have our proof of concept in the hands of potential end users in China,” Miron says. “We also have a better sense of the initial and maintenance costs of incorporating additional languages into the technology. This information will be crucial as we expand our reach both within existing and new markets.”
Miron believes that the company’s work with WaterTAP will continue into the near future. “WaterTAP has the right touch to ensure that projects like ours are successful,” he says. “We are looking forward to exploring how we can continue working with WaterTAP to determine if our product is a good fit for new water testing applications.”