Using Flow Sensors For Flood Management Warning

By USDR

 

Why Monitoring Is Important

Establishing systems to warn against the occurrence of floods is a major step to save lives and protect property. The best method to detect and warn against floods is just not about the installed components and telemetry equipment, but also extends to the employment of qualified staff, procedures that are carefully designed to offer the earliest warnings regarding when to expect the flood, whether it would happen or how severe it happens.

Methods and Equipment of Flood Control

The National Weather Service, as well as the U.S Geological survey, need to collaborate with a department of National and Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on maintaining systems of warning against flood occurrence across the country. The USGS alone is responsible for over 85% information regarding surface and groundwater data. The NWS then makes use of the data and that of other sources and issues forecasts on rivers as well as flood alerts to the county level.

 Technology Used

During floods, the rise in water levels effectively increases the pressure of water. As a result, the ability to detect these changes in water pressure is useful in the quest to tell if a flood is flowing in or not. The use of a liquid pressure sensor works exactly toward this objective. This device works like a transducer, producing electric pulses to indicate recorded changes in pressure.

A Typical Flood Detection Device

One can configure warning systems in different ways, but various methods may differ widely from others according to their needs. The location of gage sites, their number, and sensors and instruments at each of these places could vary depending on the intended area’s size or application. It’s typical of almost all telemetry choices to deliver real-time data to all computers or mobile devices, and that ensures that the system is running smoothly. It also makes sure that any control measures or actions in case of emergency get implemented almost immediately on exceeding the thresholds.

A Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge

A tipping bucket rain gauge includes a funnel with a tipping lever with a small container affixed to it. On reaching the set amount of water, the bucket flips, sending electrical signals to the data transmitting device.

Alert Gauges

Water levels prediction involves the use of sensors that alert the personnel on any impending rise in the volume of waters. Their fundamental tasks include sensing, then communicating. They make use of sensors to detect any changes in any specified parameter of a stream, say the volume of precipitation and level of water, e.g., the water level sensor.

Alert systems get designed for detecting specific events, for instance, 1mm of water entering a tipping basket of a gauge through the funnel. Each time a bucket tips, it triggers a switch that then transmits alert data that then resets the bucket.

Other sensors come equipped with the ability to detect changes in temperature and wind speed as well. Such include the electronic pressure gauge. It’s important that these sensors relay the possibility of a flood whenever they detect one. False alarms happen sometimes, but it’s up to the technicians to always discern if or not the data provided by these sensors and measuring gadgets is accurate.

Ultrasonic Level Gauging

These devices are battery-powered and sense flow of streams by use of ultrasonic waves. They offer accurate, wireless, non-contact monitoring of flow rates as well as water levels. This sensor measures the level precisely and therefore the distance between the water surface and automatically sends an alert to a maximum of 16 different phones as soon as the water attains the threshold specified.

The major question about these sensors is how long they would last out there without the need for recharging. Well, very long is the answer. It requires little, or no upkeep, local access or interaction once installed.

To make things in the setup process even easier, the water level sensor ships with a PC software that is user-friendly, thus speeding up this process. This clever gadget features settings of adjusting range, blanking distance variability or dead band, self-diagnostics and an alert module in case it loses echo.

Measuring Stream Flow

The major difference between measuring the qualities of still water bodies and rivers is that rivers move. The movement of a river is a key factor in all its aspects regarding water quality and hydrology. The deployment of a tool such as a simple electronic pressure gauge in a river could produce on the spot results and analysis.

Data Processing

It’s necessary to process the data collected from these gauges and interpret it into language that is understandable by the human, technical staff. Software on PCs and smartphones collect and process the datum depending on the situation at hand.

Proprietary software may even allow for multiple users to remotely access the data, either in graphical or maybe text format. The manufacturers of these gages are the ones who make the software in most situations.

The Analysis and Dissemination of Information.

Alert systems may suffer from issues that affect other transmission devices that rely on radio signals. This issue is because, warning systems such as the liquid pressure sensor operate only using radio signals although automated warning systems may communicate to host PC or network by use of cellular, radio or satellite telemetry.

Where Can Things Go Wrong?

As with several other automated gadgets, users of data need to fully discern and check whether each data output groups are credible. These devices can provide inaccurate data if not positioned in the right way. Therefore, always read through and follow the manuals on the procedures of setting up your detection systems.

Future Of The Industry

There are several systems available for buying when it comes to detection of floods. More recent devices even provide users with the ability to perform customization to their own needs. The level of accuracy that a single device can generate data with is impressive, and that keeps on improving given the level of competition currently in the market. The value, quality, and reliability of the products of flood detection is on an upward curve, for more efficient flood control.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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