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Article

A Low-Cost Water Depth and Electrical Conductivity Sensor for Detecting Inputs into Urban Stormwater Networks

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BoSL Water Monitoring and Control, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton 3800, Australia
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Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Novi Sad, Kozaračka 2a, 24000 Subotica, Serbia
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Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (Eawag), 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
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Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
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School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane 4001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3056; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093056
Received: 18 March 2021 / Revised: 16 April 2021 / Accepted: 22 April 2021 / Published: 27 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Electronic Sensors)
High-resolution data collection of the urban stormwater network is crucial for future asset management and illicit discharge detection, but often too expensive as sensors and ongoing frequent maintenance works are not affordable. We developed an integrated water depth, electrical conductivity (EC), and temperature sensor that is inexpensive (USD 25), low power, and easily implemented in urban drainage networks. Our low-cost sensor reliably measures the rate-of-change of water level without any re-calibration by comparing with industry-standard instruments such as HACH and HORIBA’s probes. To overcome the observed drift of level sensors, we developed an automated re-calibration approach, which significantly improved its accuracy. For applications like monitoring stormwater drains, such an approach will make higher-resolution sensing feasible from the budget control considerations, since the regular sensor re-calibration will no longer be required. For other applications like monitoring wetlands or wastewater networks, a manual re-calibration every two weeks is required to limit the sensor’s inaccuracies to ±10 mm. Apart from only being used as a calibrator for the level sensor, the conductivity sensor in this study adequately monitored EC between 0 and 10 mS/cm with a 17% relative uncertainty, which is sufficient for stormwater monitoring, especially for real-time detection of poor stormwater quality inputs. Overall, our proposed sensor can be rapidly and densely deployed in the urban drainage network for revolutionised high-density monitoring that cannot be achieved before with high-end loggers and sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: water level measurement; electric conductivity; real-time environmental monitoring; illegal discharge detection; distributed sensing; low cost; low power; water IoT water level measurement; electric conductivity; real-time environmental monitoring; illegal discharge detection; distributed sensing; low cost; low power; water IoT
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shi, B.; Catsamas, S.; Kolotelo, P.; Wang, M.; Lintern, A.; Jovanovic, D.; Bach, P.M.; Deletic, A.; McCarthy, D.T. A Low-Cost Water Depth and Electrical Conductivity Sensor for Detecting Inputs into Urban Stormwater Networks. Sensors 2021, 21, 3056. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093056

AMA Style

Shi B, Catsamas S, Kolotelo P, Wang M, Lintern A, Jovanovic D, Bach PM, Deletic A, McCarthy DT. A Low-Cost Water Depth and Electrical Conductivity Sensor for Detecting Inputs into Urban Stormwater Networks. Sensors. 2021; 21(9):3056. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093056

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shi, Baiqian, Stephen Catsamas, Peter Kolotelo, Miao Wang, Anna Lintern, Dusan Jovanovic, Peter M. Bach, Ana Deletic, and David T. McCarthy 2021. "A Low-Cost Water Depth and Electrical Conductivity Sensor for Detecting Inputs into Urban Stormwater Networks" Sensors 21, no. 9: 3056. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093056

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