Groundwater Data Your Way!

It’s no secret that pairing telemetry with groundwater sensors saves time and resources from having to manually collect readings in the field. However, groundwater telemetry networks can be limited by the availability of transmission coverage in the area of often remote wells.

OTT Hydromet and Sutron have combined capabilities to offer extremely flexible and comprehensive telemetry options for transmission of groundwater level and quality data via the OTT ecoLog series and by pairing OTT and Hydrolab sensors with the Sutron Well Cap.

Now, you can receive groundwater data via GPRS (like AT&T and T-Mobile), HSPA, and CDMA (like Verizon) cellular protocols as well as the iridium satellite for the most remote locations! Better yet, this data can now be viewed, managed, and analyzed via the SutronWIN data portal and mobile app!




Tide Level Monitoring in Scotland with the OTT RLS Radar Level Sensor

While the OTT RLS is excellent for non-contact measurement of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, it’s also very well suited to measure tide water level in bays and estuaries.

In an interesting application in Scotland, the OTT RLS (along with OTT CBS and Lufft Ventus) is used to help ferry masters on the west coast of Scotland assess whether a port a has appropriate tide and weather conditions to harbor there. Ferries are crucial for local transportation in this region and historically, ferry masters have had to visually assess whether a port is suitable for landing. Ferry landings can be dangerous with high winds and rough seas.

Ferry and lifeguard boat in Scotland

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Choosing the Right Groundwater Level Logger

Identifying the best level logger for your groundwater monitoring application can be a complex task with many different technologies available that are best suited for a variety of different measurement goals.

The most critical information to gather as you start your selection search are the physical characteristics of your groundwater well and the approximate depth-to-water range.

While all groundwater loggers measure level, some have the capability to measure water quality parameters like  conductivity, salinity, and total dissolved solids (TDS) as well. These parameters are useful in saltwater intrusion studies in aquifers or also to monitor the impact of man-made activities on groundwater supplies.

A final and important item to consider is the remote data communication (telemetry) element. Remote data communication from a groundwater logger can send updates hourly, daily, or weekly and can limit the number of required field visits to service the well. A variety of transmission technologies are available, though some (like GSM / GPRS) can be limited by the signal strength in your well area.

Click here to read the full OTT Hydromet Groundwater Sensor Selection guide, or see the review the image below for a list of groundwater logger considerations.

GW Parameters


Real-time Groundwater Monitoring Around Natural Gas Drill Sites in Colorado

The Center for Energy Water Sustainability (CEWS) at Colorado State University, in partnership with Noble Energy, has developed a real-time groundwater monitoring system in the Denver-Julesburg basin of Colorado called the Colorado Water Watch (CWW).

The Colorado Water Watch is a state and privately funded program brought together by a team of engineers and scientists from the Center of Energy Water Sustainability, making it a neutral third party to measure the impact of natural gas drilling on the surrounding groundwater supplies.

The goal of the project is to gather groundwater monitoring data in real time, and analyze and report it in real or near-real time, depending on whether the data requires further evaluation. The project is designed to bridge the gap between fears about public health impacts caused by oil and natural gas development and the assumption that industry environmental and health practices are reliable.

To achieve this goal of real-time groundwater monitoring and transmission, the Colorado Water Watch employs the Hydrolab MS5 multiparameter sonde, OTT netDL data logger, and OTT ecoLog 800 groundwater level and conductivity sensor.  Click here to see live data from the project.

groundwater logger monitoring

Example of how data from the Hydrolab MS5 is sent to the OTT netDL data logger and transmitted to the CWW website.


An Introduction to Communication Modules for Water Resource Professionals

In systems that deliver water resource data to hydromet professionals, equipment within the system must communicate with each other. Systems consist of components like sensors, data loggers, control systems, and telemetry units. For data to be available, information such as measurement results, diagnostic data, and instructions for how and when to operate must be transferred between system components. Communication between the components within the system requires compatible connections and adherence to strict rules. Otherwise critical information may be lost or data communication may stop completely.

To allow communication efficiency and accuracy, rules are established so that elements of the system will link effectively. These rules of communication are referred to as communications protocols. Protocols exist for communicating through wired connections and telemetry. They may describe requirements for the system’s hardware, software, or both. Normally the rules establish things like common sets of commands, structure of messages, where and when to send information, how to acknowledge and verify communication, speed of transmission, one-way or two-way communication, connection standards, hardware specifications, power requirements, or more. Depending on the communications protocol, there may be more or fewer elements of the rules.

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OTT RLS (Radar Level Sensor) authorized for open-air applications under new FCC rule for water level probing radars

On April 7th, 2014 a new FCC rule covering level probing radars for open-air applications took effect. This was great news for hydrological applications, as the new rule specified technical requirements for certifying and operating unlicensed level probing radars in the United States. The OTT RLS (25 GHz version) completed the certification process and is authorized as a level probing radar for use in open-air applications, including relative measurement water level of streams, rivers, and reservoirs.

OTT RLS measuring tide water level in a harbor

OTT RLS measuring tide water level in a harbor