Rainfall and weather monitoring for Australian Highway Upgrades
Company: ALS | Environmental Division | Monitoring and Technical Services
Author: Andrew Kaar
“Near real time” rainfall monitoring is a requirement for major highway upgrades in Australia. Rainfall results are used to trigger sampling of water quality parameters and to regulate work practices, minimising adverse environmental impacts during construction. To provide this service, ALS required a cost effective and easy to use near real-time web solution with strong alarm capabilities. Trials of VDV left us confident with the near real time capabilities, but tentative re the specific alarming and rainfall reporting requirements.
- Monitoring Stations
- Campbell Scientific loggers recording at 10 minute intervals
- 0.2mm tipping bucket rain gauges
- Rainfall logged as 10 minute total bucket tips only (not daily totals, as reporting times needed to be dynamic)
- 10 minute weather parameters being wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, and relative humidity
- Web Page Requirements
- “Near Real Time” data updates within 10 minutes of measurement.
- Alarms to be based on cumulative rainfall total exceedance within a nominated time period (for example 10mm in 3 hours), plus ability to specify alarm recipient shift groups.
- Alarming also required if data not current
- Ability to plot cumulative rainfall for any nominated period.
- Ability to generate tables of rainfall data giving 24 hour totals with any nominated start time, and data reporting to be starting or ending at that time. For example;
– Rainfall 24 hour totals starting at 9 am
– Rainfall 24 hour totals ending at 7 am etc..
- Ability to remove / adjust data points in displayed web data – for example rainfall calibrations (not real rain)
The Solution – Customisation
In order for VDV to be suitable for this project, we required some customization. The VDV team have worked with ALS to achieve these goals, and all ALS requirements are now implemented. The cumulative rain plots are available via the new Dashboard feature, 24 hour total type data reporting at specific day times is available via Month Overview and Data Downloads, and alarm enhancements via the alarm configurations.
To tailor the system to our specific requirements has necessitated much interaction with VDV. They are always quick to respond, and as needed, have directly connected to our servers to assist us – which has been very successful (even though we are on the other side of the world !). Support is excellent.
In addition, VDV web hosting allows user defined admin access. We find this very useful for administration when away from the office and not directly connected to our server.