Press Releases and News
News June 2017
OTT issues Flood Warning
Nigel Grimsley, Managing Director of OTT Hydrometry (UK) is urging those responsible for flood prevention and management to take action this summer to ensure they are protected before the arrival of severe weather. “Saturated soil and blocked channels contribute to the severity of flooding, but in many cases it is the location and intensity of rainfall that contributes to the speed with which flooding occurs. Early warning of intense rainfall events or blocked channels is therefore essential. Recent advances in technology mean that it is now relatively simple and low cost to set up advanced warning systems so that appropriate measures can be taken quickly and effectively,” he says.
“The early implementation of prevention and mitigation measures provides essential protection for valuable assets. For example, on a small scale, we have installed water level monitors in village streams that are prone to flooding during intense rain or when channels become blocked. On a larger scale, we have supplied 153 monitoring stations for the Harris County Flood Warning System in Texas, where flooding represents a major threat to life and property, so early warning of intense rainfall and rising water levels provide opportunities for mitigation and where necessary, evacuation.”
OTT’s latest flood warning systems provide easy access to monitoring data from PCs and smartphones. However, crucially, they are also able to automatically issue text or email alarms when rainfall or water levels approach dangerous levels, so that timely action can be taken.
For more information, visit www.ott.com/stormwater
News April 2017
OTT launches feature-packed ‘Hydromet Cloud’
The OTT Hydromet Group has launched a new web-based data management service for remote monitoring stations. “Hydromet Cloud represents a step-change in data management,” comments UK Managing Director Nigel Grimsley. “Subscribers to this new service are provided with fast, simple access to both live and historical data, which opens new opportunities for exploiting the value of ‘Big Data’.”
Packed with new features and highly cost-effective, Hydromet Cloud provides users with easy access to secure data from field monitoring sites at any time and from almost anywhere via hydrometcloud.eu or the Hydromet Cloud mobile App. Typical applications include hydrology, meteorology and water quality.
Data are transmitted from field stations through a variety of methods including satellite, cellular (GPRS/3G/4G) or wired internet connection, and stored/backed-up in the cloud.
Designed for flexibility, Hydromet Cloud enables users to create their own dashboard to quickly collate frequently viewed data, which can be displayed as plots, tables or values, and exported in a variety of formats, which enables easy analysis of trends. This facility to create a bespoke display is enhanced by a map view with colour-coded map pins (for alarm status), current data values and colour-coded parameter values highlighting alarm status. Alarms are user-defined for values, rate of change etc. and alarm messages are issued automatically by email, text or push notification on a mobile phone. Separate limits can be set for both warning and critical levels, and users can also create alarm distribution groups for notifications.
The Hydromet Cloud mobile App provides a quick and easy opportunity to view the status of an entire network or an individual monitoring station, with options to send/share data directly from a smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android). It is also possible to create and save ‘My Plots’ to quickly recall common plots of one or more parameters graphically illustrating recent data.
Hydromet Cloud provides secure infrastructure to receive, decode, process, display, and store measurement data from nearly any remote monitoring station via a cloud-based data hosting platform. Alternatively, for those wishing to conduct their own data processing, Hydromet Cloud delivers raw data (as it is transmitted by the station) using a dedicated download page, which is updated as soon as the data arrives. The system is fully compatible with the latest OTT and Sutron data logger/communication devices, in addition to a wide variety of OTT, Sutron, and Hydrolab sensors for water quantity and quality measurements, as well as Lufft meteorological sensors, third-party sensors and IP cameras.
Summarising, Nigel says: “We are very excited about the opportunities that Hydromet Cloud will create for our customers. This is the first major new product development since the acquisition of Sutron Corporation and is a great example of the synergy that has been created by merging the companies’ development teams.
“Our customers know that data serves two purposes: one, to enable the analysis of background trends, and two to quickly and easily facilitate management by exception when alarm conditions arise. Hydromet Cloud achieves both.”
News March 2017
‘Smart’ flood alleviation system protects Portsmouth
In late 2014, Southern Water completed a major project to reduce the risk of sewer flooding in parts of Portsmouth and Southsea. Substantial works were undertaken to divert runoff and tidal ingress, and a ‘smart’ hydrometeorological monitoring system was installed to enable prompt diversion of excess water during periods of high rainfall. Sewer level monitoring is undertaken in real-time and intelligent raingauges (smart sensors) combine with radio telemetry to inform a computer based catchment-wide water model. This decision support system provides advance notice for staff at the Eastney pumping station that diverts large quantities of water to storage tanks during periods of heavy rain. Through the development of a smart sewer network, Southern Water has dramatically reduced the risk of flooding in Portsmouth whilst also delivering substantial environmental benefits.
Portsmouth was one of the first cities in the UK to benefit from a dedicated sewerage system in 1865. At that time, the system combined foul and surface water systems, and was adequate because with less paved areas the flows were lower, and because flows were discharged into the sea untreated. Since that time, the City of Portsmouth’s drainage network has continued to develop but has remained dependent on the use of combined sewers and the Eastney Pumping Station. The city is now served by two interceptor sewers that run north to south on the western and eastern sides of the island. These interceptor sewers carry the combined sewage flows to Eastney. In dry weather, flows arriving at Eastney are screened and pumped to Budds Farm WwTW for treatment. These flows, together with treated flows from the Havant catchment, then gravitate back to Eastney and are pumped down the long sea outfall.
Historically, during periods of high rainfall, the incoming flows exceeded the capacity of the system and excess flow was pumped from the Eastney pump station to storm tanks at Fort Cumberland. These tanks have a capacity of 40,000m3 and are filled before any flows are discharged to the sea via the short sea outfall, and then emptied back to Eastney after the storm has passed. However, due to the quantity of storm water arriving at Eastney prior to the flood alleviation project, and allowing for filling and emptying the tanks, in a typical year 650,000m3 of screened wastewater was discharged via the outfall at Fort Cumberland, in the South East of Portsmouth at the mouth of the Langstone Harbour.
Approximately 60% of the catchment consists of built up areas, 80% of which drain to the Eastney pump station. This means that nearly half of the entire surface area of Portsmouth drains to Eastney, which causes extremely large flows during storm conditions. In dry weather, flows are less than 1,000 l/s. However, in storm conditions flows increase to more than 20,000 l/s.
On 15 September 2000 an exceptionally severe storm overwhelmed the Eastney pump station, causing the pump room to be flooded, which stopped the pumps and over 750 properties were flooded. Considerable investment has subsequently taken place at Eastney with the provision of a new standby pump station. However, with half of all rain that falls on the island ending up at Eastney there is still a major risk that the capacity of the pump station will be exceeded.
Portsmouth Flood Alleviations
SchemeThe majority of the flow in wet weather is surface water, so the Portsmouth Flood Alleviations Scheme was created to divert surface water to the sea instead of entering the combined sewer. This would free up capacity in the existing infrastructure, allowing it to be used to provide protection against larger storms. In total, surface flow from 34 Hectares of paved area was diverted by the project.
The flow reduction initiatives have reduced the flow arriving at Eastney to the extent that the required flood risk protection level has been achieved. In order to reduce tidal infiltration and tidal restriction of CSO operation, new surface water pipes, culverts and swales were created, and several sections of the public sewer were remediated.
The large diesel pumps at Eastney have an enormous capacity, with a combined ability to remove 6,500 litres per second. However, they take 15 to 30 minutes to build up to full speed so advance notice is necessary. The pump station is manned 24 hours/day and a The pump station is manned 24 hours/day and a network of 10 sewer water level sensors, 4 pump monitoring systems and 4 rainfall monitors delivers data via OTT Adcon radio telemetry to a catchment software model developed by Innovyze.
Employing the latest technology, OTT Pluvio² raingauges are able to measure both rainfall amount and rainfall intensity. This is important because traditional raingauges simply supply historical data on the amount of precipitation, whereas near real-time access to precipitation intensity dramatically increases the speed with which the monitoring system is able to deliver storm warnings. Another key feature of these smart raingauges is their ability to operate reliably without the level of maintenance that is required by traditional raingauges. For example, they are able to issue alerts when maintenance is necessary.
Summarising, Rob McTaggart, technical lead at MWH says: “Collaboration with the community, and other stakeholders in Portsmouth, made it possible for the project consortium to design and implement a solution that separated surface water to provide resilience, significantly boost flood protection and benefit the environment with the minimum of new infrastructure.
“Clearly, the flood alleviation scheme has been a success and as a result, the pumps at Eastney are called into action less often.
“The early warning system appears to be working very well. Some of the rainfall prediction data, provided by external sources, can sometimes provide erroneous projections because of the localised nature of precipitation events, so it is important to have a sufficient number of raingauges to ‘calibrate’ projections and deliver the level of precision required.”
News Nov 2016
OTT showed Smart sensors at WWEM 2016
The OTT stand (No. 126) at WWEM 2016 provided the first opportunity for visitors to see the HydroCycle PO4, the latest version of the Cycle-P remote, battery powered, dissolved phosphate monitor. Designed for long-term high frequency monitoring of remote locations, the HydroCycle PO4 can be left unattended for long periods, testing up to 1,500 samples between service/reagent change. Onboard calibration with QA/QC processing and an internal datalogger ensure the reliable collection of accurate data, and telemetry options provide data access without frequent site visits.
The latest version of the advanced Pluvio2 weighing raingauge was also on show, offering access to precipitation intensity data as well as total rainfall measurements. The real-time nature of the Pluvio2 measurements are making this a popular choice with regulatory authorities and those responsible for flood management.
Following recent company acquisitions by the OTT Hydromet Group, new products from Sutron and Lufft attracted significant visitors attention.
OTT also ran two Workshops on ‘Phosphate monitoring’ and ‘Low-maintenance real-time precipitation monitoring.’ Both of these addressed highly topical issues and were popular with visitors and the media.
News July 2016
OTT Hydromet partners with sister company Sea-Bird
The OTT Hydromet Group has announced a new distribution strategy for the Sea-Bird Coastal product range of water quality sensors and monitors. “These instruments fit very well with our range of water monitoring technologies,” says OTT’s European Sales Manager Marcus Meckelmann. “We also share similar customer bases, so the key Sea-Bird Coastal products will be available exclusively through OTT’s European subsidiaries and official distributors.”
The Sea-Bird products covered by this arrangement include the HydroCycle PO4 (formerly Cycle-P) phosphate analyser, the SUNA V2 nitrate sensor, the LOBO turn-key water quality monitoring system, the WQM and WQM-X water quality meters, the HydroCAT long-term deployment water quality sondes and the Hydro-pH deep water (350m) pH sensor.
In addition to the Sea-Bird products, the OTT Hydromet Group also includes leading global brands such as Adcon Telemetry, Hydrolab, Lufft, OTT and Sutron. “Our main focus is the provision of leading-edge, accurate, reliable instrumentation and telemetry systems that deliver vital data for those responsible for monitoring and managing water resources and the impacts of weather,” adds Marcus Meckelmann. “Nutrients represent a major threat to global water resources, so we are particularly excited by the opportunities presented by Sea-Bird’s low power nitrate and phosphate monitoring technologies.”
Sea-Bird’s ocean research products are also available through the OTT Hydromet distribution channels, but on a non-exclusive basis.
News June 2016
OTT launches new low-maintenance Phosphate monitor
OTT Hydrometry has launched an advanced version of its ‘Cycle-P’ remote Phosphate monitor for measuring dissolved Phosphate in rivers, lakes and reservoirs. The new ‘HydroCycle PO4’ uses less reagents per test than its predecessor and the reagents have a longer shelf-life. “This means that the HydroCycle PO4 can be left in the field, for even longer periods,” says OTT’s UK Managing Director Nigel Grimsley. “With a standard sampling rate of two tests per hour (4x per hour is possible), this new instrument is able to run over 1,500 samples before a service/reagent change is necessary, so that means the monitor can be left unattended for around a month, which reduces the cost of monitoring even further.”
Battery powered and weighing less than 8Kg fully loaded with reagents, the HydroCycle PO4 is quick and easy to deploy, even in remote locations. The instrument has an internal datalogger with 1 GB capacity, and in combination with telemetry, it provides operators with near real-time access to monitoring data for Phosphate; a critically important nutrient in surface waters.
The quality of the instrument’s data is underpinned by QA/QC processing in conjunction with an on-board NIST standard, delivering scientifically defensible results, and enabling users to spend less time checking data quality and more time analysing what the data means. The HydroCycle PO4 methodology is based on US EPA standard methods, employing pre-mixed, colour coded cartridges for simple reagent replacement in the field.
Engineered to take measurements at high oxygen saturation, and with a large surface area filter for enhanced performance during sediment events, the instrument employs advanced fluidics, that are resistant to the bubbles that can plague wet chemical sensors.
Summarising, Nigel Grimsley says: “The original Cycle-P significantly lowered the cost and improved the reliability of Phosphate monitoring, and the new version builds on the strengths of its predecessor and reduces the service and maintenance requirements even further.”
Intelligent monitoring system provides flood warnings
Water level sensing technology from OTT Hydrometry is being used in an intelligent flood warning system that has been installed at a ford in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK. The system, which was designed and installed by SWARCO Traffic, monitors water level in the Finham Brook where it passes under the A452, and warns drivers when potentially dangerous conditions arise.
Working closely with Warwickshire County Council (WCC), SWARCO provided a set of four signs on the approach and in close proximity to the ford. The two signs that are closest to the ford initially warn of water on the carriageway (up to 100mm); these alert drivers to the flood and the risk of aquaplaning. When the water rises above 100mm the two outer signs are activated to enable drivers to take an alternative route, and the inner signs provide an additional message that the ford is impassable.
David Matthewson, team leader of the Traffic Control and Information Systems team at WCC, says: “This ford can be the cause of significant traffic problems during flood conditions; partly because drivers are unsure whether the road is passable and also because smaller cars can get into trouble when a passing larger car causes a wave.
“The two trigger levels were based on potential risk to motorists and although these can be adjusted locally onsite, we initially erred on the side of caution at commissioning. Following three periods of flood since late December 2015 we have slightly adjusted the trigger levels to reflect the depth of water on the carriageway during a flood."
The water level sensor is an OTT PLS (Pressure Level Sensor) located in a slotted stilling well. Designed for field applications, the robust PLS has a stainless steel housing, an integrated controller and a ceramic pressure-measuring cell. The sensor has an analogue output that can be adjusted onsite. The SWARCO system uses a UTMC interface to communicate with Warwickshire’s existing UTMC Common Database which in turn sends commands to the low energy/high visibility LED signs.
SWARCO has also worked with OTT Hydrometry on a similar system in Warrington. “This is a new solution to an old problem,” says Derek Williamson, Head of Sales for SWARCO Traffic. “We have used our expertise in traffic management technology to design a bespoke system that had previously been used to warn of high winds on viaducts and traffic queues, and adapted the concept to develop an intelligent system providing warnings for dangerous water levels.”
Bad weather is good news for OTT Hydrometry
OTT Hydrometry, the specialist manufacturer of environmental monitoring equipment, has announced that 2015 was its best year ever in the UK. “Product sales were very good across all ranges,” comments Managing Director Nigel Grimsley. “Our water quality, level and flow monitors all performed very well; as did out meteorological, datalogging and telemetry instrumentation.”
Nigel believes that the effects of Climate Change will increase the need for hydrometeorological equipment. “The potentially devastating effects of severe weather can only be prevented or limited by accurate monitoring with telemetry so that appropriate action can be taken in a timely manner,” he says. “However, it is also vital to be able to model the likely effects of high water and heavy rain before it takes place, so that flood prevention and mitigation schemes can be implemented. Monitoring plays a key role; not just in the creation of these models, but also by supplying near real-time data during adverse weather to improve and optimise warning systems for communities and infrastructure.”
The increased frequency of severe weather events in the UK is clearly having a positive effect on OTT’s sales figures, with the OTT Pluvio2 and ecoLog products selling particularly well. The Pluvio2 is an advanced raingauge operating on the weighing principle, which means that it is able to measure all types of precipitation extremely accurately, whilst also providing intensity data. The OTT ecoLog is a complete system for logging and transmitting water level data in boreholes and surface water.
Summarising, Nigel says: “Bad weather obviously stimulates our business, but continual investment in product development also increases the popularity of our technologies, and the complete monitoring systems that we build make it easier for customers to start collecting and disseminating data.”
News June 2015
New partner for OTT Hydrometry in Ireland
OTT Hydrometry, the specialist manufacturer of environmental monitoring equipment, has appointed NVM Ltd as exclusive distributor for Ireland. Based in Drogheda in Co. Louth, NVM will be responsible for sales and service in Ireland with immediate effect. “We are delighted with this agreement,” says NVM Managing Director Noel Carr. “OTT products enjoy an excellent reputation around the world, and have a large installed base in Ireland, so, coupled with the introduction of OTT equipment to our existing clients, this represents an excellent growth opportunity for us.”
The OTT product range includes instrumentation for monitoring groundwater, streams, rivers, coastal water and meteorology. In addition to the OTT branded products, the range also includes Hydrolab water quality monitors and Adcon telemetry systems.
“Our business is focused on the accurate and reliable collection of field data, either manually or with logging and telemetry, so there is a good fit between our two companies,” Noel comments. “Our team have already received comprehensive training on the OTT instruments, dataloggers and telemetry systems, and we have invested in appropriate spares, consumables and calibration equipment, so we are now able to provide a full service capability.”
OTT Managing Director Nigel Grimsley says: “NVM’s appointment represents the conclusion of a comprehensive search to find our ideal partner. We have numerous clients in Ireland and have operated a local office with support from our UK based engineers for many years. It is vitally important for our customers to have a local contact for sales and service, so we are delighted to make this announcement.”
NVM Limited Ireland
1st Floor,Unit 13, Boyne Business Park, Drogheda Co. Louth
Tel: + 353 (0) 41 983 7435
Fax: + 353 (0) 41 984 8124 |
Web - Microsite OTT Products: www.nvm-ott.ie
News April 2015
OTT demonstrates latest water monitoring technology
OTT Hydrometry’s latest water quality and level monitoring technologies will be demonstrated at two major events this Spring. First, on 21st and 22nd April, OTT will participate in the International Association of Hydrogeologists Irish Group meeting in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Entitled: “Integrated Hydrogeology: Contemporary Principles, Policy and Practice,” this event will address many of the strategic issues relating to the management of water resources, in addition to the technical aspects of monitoring. The OTT stand will feature water level loggers such as Ecolog and Orpheus Mini, water level contact gauges/dippers and Adcon/OTT telemetry solutions.
Secondly, OTT will demonstrate a new Phosphate monitor at an Innovation Day at WRc in Swindon on 29th April. This will provide an opportunity to demonstrate the unique advantages of the ‘Cycle-P’ for remote, continuous Phosphate monitoring. “Phosphate levels in water resources are a major cause for concern,” says OTT MD Nigel Grimsley. “Consequently there is a high demand for the Cycle-P, particularly because it is a continuous monitor that can be quickly and simply installed at any location. Battery-powered and able to operate unattended in the field, it can run over 1,000 tests before a field service is necessary to change the reagents.”