High-grade coal has been mined on the West Coast of New Zealand since the 1870s. To meet stringent environmental requirements, mine operator Solid Energy contracted with Scott Technical Instruments Ltd. to continuously monitor water quality at 14 sites. The resulting network of measurement stations transmits live data to a base office for management and compliance purposes. The system also automatically controls a lime-dosing plant to regulate the pH of the nearby Mangatini stream.
There were difficulties: annual rainfall is about 236 in., and the terrain is rugged. The systems include CR850 dataloggers from Campbell Scientific at the core, with RF450 spread-spectrum radios and LoggerNet software. For more information, please visit campbellsci.com/new-zealand-mine.