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System Rebuild for Enterprise-Ready Scaling

Project Details:

  • Client: SENTRY™ Water Monitoring & Control Inc.
  • Industry: Water Treatment
  • Solutions: SENTRY™, Azure, Infrastructure as Code

As a company, SENTRY™ Water Monitoring & Control Inc. (formerly Island Water Technologies, colloquially referred to as SENTRY™) develops cutting edge wastewater monitoring and treatment solutions. The Sentry solution by SENTRY™ is a unique bio-electrode sensor technology that allows for real-time monitoring of microbial metabolic activity in anaerobic and aerobic wastewater treatment systems. SENTRY™’s clients—usually water treatment centers—can view the bacterial activity in the water in real time, as well as manage their sensors through SENTRY™’s dashboard. Clients are also able to configure various alarms in case measurements record unusual activity. Their clients span across each continent, with the exception of the Antarctic.

The Challenge

SENTRY™ had a legacy application developed during its early startup days, that was not built for scalability. As SENTRY™ continued to grow its business, several issues with the legacy application became apparent, such as:

  • Trouble managing use case scenarios, its designers had not foreseen during development. 

  • An architecture that prioritized speed-to-market, but was showing performance and security issues as a result of user base growth. 

  • Hand-rolled components that were error-prone, when existing off-the-shelf solutions could be implemented.

  • Bug fixes and enhancements were complicated and expensive. 

  • Limited ability to scale. 

  • Unsecured gateways prone to injection attacks. 

  • No externally facing API endpoints. 

They needed to graduate to a production-ready IoT system with a secure database and clean architecture. 

Aerial photo of water treatment facility

Our Solution

Over the next six months, Torq IT re-built the SENTRY™ system entirely from scratch. No corners were cut. We took advantage of Azure’s IoT Hub and its features to handle the secure device to cloud communications and over the air updates. Device to cloud messages are stored in an SQL database optimized for time-series datasets.

We then built an API server on the latest .NET architecture, with a security and permissions model specifically programmed to fit SENTRY™’s business logic and distribution hierarchy. The API server received new features over the previous system, such as more intricate configuration options and SMS/e-mail alerts for individual users.

The entire architecture was built with futureproofing in mind, ensuring scalability of their new system, as well as ease of implementation of new features. This diagram represents how the system was designed.

We found Torq IT to be reliable and trustworthy in their knowledge of scalable systems. The Torq IT team was clear when explaining the consequences of each decision. Their advisory is valuable and helps a lot to choose a right direction in development strategy. Considering the complexity of the new dashboard the implementation went smoothly and all challenges were addressed professionally and in an excellent time manner, matching our expectations in the end.  The Torq IT team continues to work with us on implementing new features to the system and makes us feel confident we can rely on their expertise.

Daniil Gorbachev
Director of Manufacturing

The Results

With a brand new, efficient and reliable infrastructure, SENTRY™ was able to drastically scale their business to levels unimaginable on their previous system. SENTRY™ can confidently take new feature requests from their clients, with the peace of mind that they will run into unexpected amounts of work.

As of May 2023, SENTRY™ has grown to close to 250 water treatment stations around the world, with over 600 devices sending data to their system every minute. SENTRY™ is rapidly approaching the 1 billion datapoints milestone, with an ever-growing client base.


Water treatment stations globally


Devices sending data to SENTRY™


Sensor data readings

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