Water / Water Level and Flow

How We Can Help You

Campbell Scientific builds systems for unattended, long-term monitoring of water level and flow. They are used in many environments, including wells, dams, streams, weirs, stormwater systems, and water or wastewater treatment plants. They are reliable regardless of salinity level, pollution level, or other harsh environmental conditions. Campbell systems can communicate via GOES satellite, licensed-frequency radio, IP cell modems, spread-spectrum radio, and other methods.

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To see how our systems meet your application needs, review our case studies »


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More Details about Our Water Level and Flow Systems

Measuring Water Level

Our systems use 6-wire resistive gages or vibrating-wire pressure transducers for measuring groundwater level. In deep observation wells, these pressure transducers provide accurate water level measurement. We use piezometers, bubblers, or float and pulley systems to measure water level in shallow water applications. On the high end of groundwater level measurements, our portable pump and slug test systems can simultaneously measure water level in up to 8 wells, yet are easy to setup and customize from site to site.

For surface water level, measurements are often made in a vertical stand-pipe (stilling well) installed adjacent to a lake, river, or stream. The stream level (stage) is the same as the water elevation in the stilling well. A float and pulley is often used, but pressure transducers, ultrasonic, and resistive tape sensors work well also. Self-calibrating double bubblers are accurate sensors for measuring water level, and have the added benefit of keeping the sensor out of the measured liquid—critical in corrosive environments.

Measuring Water Flow

Water flow is usually calculated using a structure built across an open channel, such as a weir or flume. The water level is measured as it flows through the structure. Discharge rates are determined by using a site-unique rating curve and the water level. A float and pulley system, strain gage pressure transducer, or ultrasonic sensor may be used in stilling wells to measure water level fluctuations, then calculate flow.

New sensors that use ultrasonic and doppler technologies to measure water velocities in two or three dimensions are also available. Velocity is measured directly; additional calculations are not required.

Dataloggers for Water Level and Flow Measurements

The versatility of our dataloggers allows systems to be customized for each application. A range of dataloggers, with increasing capabilities, is available. All our dataloggers feature wide operating temperature ranges, low power consumption, and the ability to directly interface with a large variety of sensors. Because our dataloggers operate on batteries (with or without solar panels), they are ideal for long-term, stand-alone operation, such as at remote stilling wells. If additional channels are needed, most of our dataloggers are expandable using multiplexers and other peripherals. Powerful on-board instruction sets allow unattended control decisions based on time or conditional events. For example, if measured levels are outside a predetermined range, the datalogger can sound alarms, open valves or gates, or call out to a phone to report conditions. Data are typically displayed and stored in the desired units of measure (e.g., cfs, psi, feet, inches, meters, centimeters).

Sensors for Water Level and Flow Measurements

Thanks to their ability to measure multiple channel types, our dataloggers can read nearly every commercially available sensor, allowing systems to be customized for each installation. We offer a variety of water level and flow sensors that feature low drift and high reliability. In addition, nearly all available water quality and meteorological sensors can be measured, generally without external signal conditioning. We helped create the original SDI-12 standard, so you can be sure our systems are SDI-12 compatible.

Communications

The availability of multiple telecommunications and on-site options for retrieving data also allows systems to be customized to meet exact needs. Off-the-shelf telecommunications options include satellite (DCP), radio, telephone, cellphone, and voice-synthesized phone. Systems can be programmed to send alarms or report site conditions by calling out to computers, phones, radios, or pagers. Real-time or historical data can be displayed or processed with Campbell Scientific software. Data can also be exported as ASCII files for further processing by spreadsheets, databases, or analysis programs.

Case Studies

Costa Rica: Buoy System
Overview The existing port of Limon was constructed over 30 years ago. With the increase of......read more
Texas: Transitioning to ALERT2
ALERT2 is a modern communication protocol that improves upon 40 years of tradition within the......read more
Northern California: Hydro-SCADA
The Yuba County Water Agency (YCWA) needed to upgrade an unsupportable hydrologic supervisory, control, and......read more
New Mexico: Cavern Collapse Alarm
RESPEC, a water-resources consulting and services firm, is currently under contract to operate and maintain......read more
Peru: High-Elevation Weather on Glaciers
Currently, the Andean tropical glaciers are in an accelerated process of retreat. These glaciers are......read more
Florida: Protecting an Endangered Species’ Habitat
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has a mission to manage and protect the......read more
South Dakota: Canal-Based Irrigation System
The semiarid region just north of the Black Hills in western South Dakota has vast......read more
Arkansas: Flood Warning
Hot Springs, Arkansas, is a history-rich city located adjacent to Hot Springs National Park. The......read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Number of FAQs related to Water Level and Flow: 1

  1. Most Campbell Scientific systems are built from individual components. This provides maximum flexibility for our customers, but it does not lend itself to pricing a "typical" system. Contact Campbell Scientific for assistance in pricing a system to meet the unique needs of the application.