What to monitor – silt monitoring?
Specialists in remote silt monitoring and water monitoring equipment.
Monitoring will depend on the type of operation. A site that has to pump a lot of water should be monitoring silt levels in any local water courses – a site that is concerned about concrete washout should monitor pH or conductivity.
Silt, concrete/cement and oil are the most common construction site pollutants to water.
By far the most common and worst culprit is silt, also known as suspended solids. Not only is silt unsightly, it is easily seen and easily traceable and can cause significant damage to wildlife and waterways by deoxygenating the water, smothering plant life, blocking fish gills and starving aquatic wildlife of light.
Silt (suspended solids) is measured in milligrams per litre, control levels may be set to:-
The contract specification
Previous baseline measurement
Upstream baseline measurements
Remote Datum Ltd offers our TSS02 for complete low cost remote monitoring / measuring of silt or suspended solids in water courses, culverts and pipes. TSS02 is a totally self contained unit operating with GPRS mobile phone telemetry. It will automatically check the suspended solids within the water at regular intervals from 15 minutes to 24 hours. If the parameters have been breached this will trigger an alarm via SMS text and email. The data may be viewed graphically on the web bureau or downloaded as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet. Furthermore, by recording the actual amount in mg per litre of suspended solids in a water course at regular intervals, a stakeholder can show that they were taking substantial steps to mitigate the possibility of any pollution.
Silt Monitoring – Oils – Cement – Water Levels
Keeping water courses clean and free from pollutants is a major headache for industry and especially the construction industry. Because of the construction industry’s temporary nature on a site, it has more to do in a short period whilst keeping its operations free from groundwater and rainfall.
Unfortunately, the construction industry has a significant impact on water quality:
- Silt from pumping operations
- Run-off from heavy rainfall
- Oil/diesel leakage
- Cement and concrete washout operations
- Damaged foul water pipes
- Accidental discharge
Extract text from the Environment Agency :-
“Your site doesn’t need to be next to a river to cause a problem; any pollutants getting into drains can end up in a river even if it’s miles away from site, and can be traced back to their source”.
“Drainage systems, including land drains, act as unseen pathways. If your site is near surface waters or drainage connection leading to surface waters, you’ll need to take extra care to manage your site activities to reduce the risk of pollution”.
Why monitor water quality ?
If your site has a problem you will need to know quickly. Equipment may be leaking oil or diesel that is entering a watercourse; a pumping discharge may be circumventing the mitigation and pumping silt into a stream or river or your concrete washout facility maybe overflowing. The quicker you can identify the issue, the sooner action can be taken to mitigate it.
Also, the problem may not be of your making. It is possible that an operation upstream from your site is contaminating the water and because your site is more high profile, your operation is assumed to be the culprit. Alternatively, heavy rainfall or upstream run-off may be causing an increase in silt levels.
With no warning or no data, you have no method of showing that you took all the necessary precautions and/or mitigating action efficiently and in good time.
Conductivity is a measure of the ability of water to pass an electrical current. Conductivity in water is affected by the presence of inorganic dissolved solids such as chloride, nitrate, sulphate, and phosphate anions (ions that carry a negative charge) or sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and aluminium cations (ions that carry a positive charge). Organic compounds like oil, phenol, alcohol, and sugar do not conduct electrical current very well and therefore have a low conductivity.
Discharges to water courses can change the conductivity depending on their make-up. A leaking sewage pipe would raise the conductivity because of the presence of chloride, phosphate, and nitrate; an oil spill would lower the conductivity. Measuring for conductivity is particularly useful for construction sites, as to measure for all contaminates in all their possible receptor water courses would be prohibitively expensive and not very efficient. However, measuring conductivity will immediately show there is a problem and action needs to be taken.
Remote Datum Ltd can offer our RDL V01. The V01 is an economical, totally autonomous system utilising GPRS mobile phone telemetry that is placed in a water course and measures the water conductivity taking account of any temperature fluctuations that will alter the water’s ability to conduct electricity. The V01 is placed in the water course whilst the water is known to be free from site pollutants (or placed upstream) to obtain baseline readings. Once they are established, parameters can be set remotely to trigger alarms via SMS text and email, should those parameters be breached. All the data can be viewed graphically on the Remote Datum web bureau and the data can be downloaded as a CSV file for use with Excel or any spreadsheet.
Other remote monitoring solutions that Remote Datum Ltd can provide include :-
- Water Turbidity
- Water PH
- Suspended Solids (silt)
- Dissolved Oxygen
- Water Temperature
- Water Salinity
- Water Height/Flow/Level