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Remote Water Quality Monitoring in South Africa

Situated in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, the Xstrata Coal South Africa (XCSA) runs several open cut and underground mining operations producing thermal coal.

To ensure their mining operations do not affect the surrounding natural water bodies, the company employs Hydrolab and OTT water quality monitoring equipment with remote data transmission options: the OTT ecoLog 800 water level and conductivity sensor, netDL data logger, and Hydrolab DS5X multiparameter sonde.

Installation of this monitoring equipment involved rappelling down a 25-meter cliff to install a Hydrolab DS5X! The probe on the cliff can be seen in the photos on the left.

Read a detailed project description here

Groundwater level sensor and data logger

OTT ecoLog 500 Water Level Logger

Water level sensor with built-in datalogger for surface and groundwater applications

The OTT ecoLOG 500 is a self-contained water level instrument offering flexible remote data options and unequaled performance for the price.

  • Surface water Groundwater
  • Vented pressure cell
  • Waterlevel/Pressure, Water temperature
  • Measures, stores, and transmits water level and temperature data
  • ± 0.05% FS
  • Yes
Multichannel IP datalogger

OTT netDL Data Logger

Data loggers for remote data collection & long term monitoring

The versatile OTT netDL 500 and 1000 data loggers were developed specifically for use in hydrology and meteorology stations. In addition to recording data, the loggers are extremely low power and offer flexible data transfer options via the internet and mobile networks, providing a logging and telemetry solution for every project.

  • Ethernet USB-Host USB-Device RS-232 Satellite Cellular Industrial Communication
  • High data availability due to large memory and redundant communication, Multitasking capability for short polling cycles, Communication via TCP/IP, Integrated Web Server, Ultra low power consumption, Design for harsh environments, Industrial communication
  • Yes
  • SDI-12, RS-485 (SDI-12), Modbus RTU, analogue-in (voltage and current), Impulse Input, Status Input
Monitoring network management software  OTT Hydras 3

OTT Hydras 3 net

Monitoring network management software

Monitoring network management software OTT Hydras 3 for professional data management, evaluation, processing and alarm management.

  • Hydrometry, Meteorology and Environmental Protection
  • Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 11
  • Graphical editor, Map display, Alarm management, Parametrization and data reading of stations, Autoimport of data, Autoexport, Displaying data

Hardware components and functions:

  • 6 OTT ecolog 800 units were deployed at 5 stream measuring points and 1 borehole site.
  • Parameters are recorded hourly and reported daily via GSM/GPRS using FTP transfer to a secure server hosted by OTT.
  • The Ecolog800 units are housed in structures designed and manufactured by XCSA as per OTT recommendations.

Software components and functions:

  • OTT Hydras 3 + RX software was installed on a local PC at the Environmental Management offices.
  • Data is retrieved via an internet connection and the database is populated automatically.
  • Hydras 3 software provides graphical interface and data export functions into other formats (text, Excel).

The Kanongat water quality monitoring system:

  • In addition to the XCSA remote monitor system, integrated into this project was the implementation of a remote station to monitor water quality parameters, located on the banks of the Olifants River at Kanongat inside the Loskop Nature Reserve.
  • This system is quite different from the OTT ecolog 800 but still allows the data to be presented on the same OTT platform and managed by XCSA for reporting purposes to the forum.

The system contains the following components:

  • Hydrolab DS5X Sonde with: pH, EC, Temperature, Depth & LDO sensors
  • OTT NetDL1000 IP Datalogger
  • OTT ecoLog800
  • OTT Hydras 3 Software


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