Telemetry is a term used to describe many forms of wireless communication and data transmission. This data exchange can employ wires, radios, cell phone signals or even satellites in remote locations. Telemetry plays a very important role in water management. Telemetry systems can be employed to transmit water quality data, changes in water levels and any other relevant data being collected.
SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), is a commonly used system for real time data transfer, first adopted in the 1960’s. The system will gather information from individual sensors and then transmit the data to a central monitoring station where analysis is performed. Using this system many different locations and parameters can be displayed simultaneously and compared so anomalies can become apparent quickly and spotted easily.
In the groundwater industry, telemetry, such as the example pictured above, can be a valuable tool in determining when certain actions need to be taken.
- Water conservation measures if groundwater levels dropping too low
- Flood warnings if groundwater levels too high
- Open or closing of sluice gates on dams
- Increase or decrease in pumping
This type of data exchange can also be used to set alarms or to send warnings if necessary. If you are monitoring a landfill or industrial site, a leak of toxins can be spotted quickly and warnings sent out.
You can also program remediating actions to initiate without any human input. Pumps can be programmed to turn on or off automatically and dam gates can be opened or closed. If you are monitoring a closed system, SCADA allows you to programme the entire system to operate automatically. The only human interaction required would be a remote monitor to verify the correct actions had been taken.
Heron instruments dipperLog can be easily integrated into these types of systems. Heron Instruments offer a 4-20mA pressure transmitter which can be wired directly to a control panel, or if your system uses an SDI-12 protocol, we offer an interface cable which allows seamless trouble free addition of our dipperLog Nano.
Some municipalities, like the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand, give the public access to their collected data by making it available for viewing on a website. It allows the area residents to check the groundwater level, rainfall or a variety of other environmental parameters being monitored in the area, at any time they desire. This type of system is becoming more popular and widespread as more and more people become aware of environmental issues. The government of Canada is operating such a site with the data collected in the Alberta Oil Sands for interested parties to view. Heron Instruments is proud to be a partner in these endeavours.