cloudy

Author Topic: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?  (Read 12697 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hwitten

  • Posts: 81
  • Langley, BC, Canada
    • Sunrise Lake Weather
Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« on: March 05, 2008, 10:48:34 PM »
Has anyone come across a sensor scheme that would allow me to monitor lake/water level?

We have an old gravel pit turned lake as our backyard and in the spring the water level can get a little high. I'm not very good at keeping track so I thought it would be a nice thing to add to my overall scheme of weather and home automation.

Got my post in today, getting ready for the Davis that is due to arrive tomorrow. Not an ideal site due to some trees but best I can do as a start. While I was pouring cement I thought about how nice it would be to add lake level monitoring to the setup.

TIA - Heinz
http://www.sunriselake.ca/Sunrise_Lake/MyNeighborhood.html

Offline niko

  • syzygy
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 24,132
  • Crystal Ball broken! Please post the URL.
  • Northern California, U.S.A.
    • http://www.realweatherstation.com
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 10:53:39 PM »
Are you allowed to put something in the lake? Maybe you have a dock or something that's already in the water? Could you wire from there to your computer?

Offline hwitten

  • Posts: 81
  • Langley, BC, Canada
    • Sunrise Lake Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 11:07:08 PM »
Yes, I could put a probe(or?) into the lake. Rather than using the dock, which is not in best of shape, I would probably do whatever fits best once I have an idea of what's available. The lake is small and private( 1/2x1/4 mile), I.e. owned by all the surrounding residents and as an association we don't allow power boats, etc. but I can put something in the lake that is non-contaminating.

Offline niko

  • syzygy
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 24,132
  • Crystal Ball broken! Please post the URL.
  • Northern California, U.S.A.
    • http://www.realweatherstation.com
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2008, 11:26:30 PM »
Would you need to buy a ready made item or are you into tinkering with stuff?

Offline hwitten

  • Posts: 81
  • Langley, BC, Canada
    • Sunrise Lake Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 12:09:58 AM »
Love to tinker :)

Not to the point of designing boards, etc. but tinkering is not a problem. The objective would be to be able to display water level along with rest of my weather data and then save it to mySQL or similar so that I could do a year by year comparison down the road. It wouldn't have to tie in with the Davis setup as I can bring it together on the website. I run my own site/server and once weather is up will be making it an 'official' lake site, but still a hobby for me :)

I.e. something I could 'collect' via serial port or? All I would need is raw data as I can do a prog to 'interpret', send it to the web, etc.


Offline niko

  • syzygy
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 24,132
  • Crystal Ball broken! Please post the URL.
  • Northern California, U.S.A.
    • http://www.realweatherstation.com
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 12:24:16 AM »
I was thinking of 1-wire, see www.hobbyboards.com to get the data from the sensor to the PC. For the sensor I can quickly think of 3 ideas, build a float/lever thing like a jumbo gas tank sensor, a float with a magnet in a PVC tube with magnetically operated (reed) switches at intervals, a float in a pvc tube with an ultrasonic distance sensor, or maybe you could get a good enough ping back directly from the water, (there are posts on here about an ultrasonic snow depth sensor, this could be very similar). What is the expected water level change?

Offline hwitten

  • Posts: 81
  • Langley, BC, Canada
    • Sunrise Lake Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2008, 12:47:38 AM »
Water level range might be about 10 feet and depending of where I would be doing the measuring, overall depth might range 10-20 feet. Thanks for the ideas re ultrasonic and 1-wire. Will do some searching.

Offline Budmn8

  • Posts: 707
  • Eastern Iowa
    • Sandhill Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 01:25:31 AM »
I am wondering about the Snow death measuring thread.  would that work on Water?

Brad

Offline NorCal Dan

  • Dan - KJ6RGX
  • Posts: 9,983
  • Davis Vue/iMac/Parallels/WinXP
  • Ocean Park, WA.
    • Traveling RV Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008, 02:59:33 AM »
Just looking around your site, looks like your ready for wx data :)

Question, where in the world is Sunrise Lake?  I couldn't find anything on your site that would tell me where your located...

Offline hwitten

  • Posts: 81
  • Langley, BC, Canada
    • Sunrise Lake Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008, 04:00:18 AM »
Yeah, I'm ready :)
Cranked the nearby airport METAR into WD to get a feel for it.

Sunrise Lake is in the Brookswood area of Langley, BC., about 30 miles east of Vancouver.
It's actually a gravel pit that was developed years ago and is filled with normal ground-water. Hence the up/down with heavy rains, spring/summer variations etc. And since it's not a public waterway it's only known by name to the locals.

The site is still a work-in-progress.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 06:49:08 AM by hwitten »

Offline mikeym

  • Posts: 1,066
  • Thornhurst, Pa USA
    • MikeyMs Thornhurst,PA Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2008, 02:10:04 PM »
Actually the ultrasonic approach should work better with water than it does with snow. Snow works fine except when it is very dry and fluffy. The ultrasonic approach isn't cheap, but using the sensor described in the following link might be a cheaper alternative.

http://www.parallax.com/dl/docs/prod/audiovis/Distance28015.pdf

All my experimentation has been with the Senscorp sensors which cost about $75 plus some kind of an interface board for 1-wire readings. A relatively  cheap approach to the interface board is the HobbyBoards solar sensor and feed the output of the ultrasonic sensor to the Vad pin of the DS2438 chip.

Interesting project, but I don't have any close by ponds or streams.

 :D

Cheers

MikeyM
http://mikeymsweather.com/

Another VERY Happy WD user
Jetway Dual Core Atom D525 1.8 GHZ  2.0 GB RAM
Davis Vantage Pro wireless w/ Davis solar sensor
Laser Snow Depth Sensor LR4/Fluke 414D working in WD thanks to Brian

Offline NorCal Dan

  • Dan - KJ6RGX
  • Posts: 9,983
  • Davis Vue/iMac/Parallels/WinXP
  • Ocean Park, WA.
    • Traveling RV Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 02:54:20 PM »
A similar thread available here that contains some good ideas...

Offline hwitten

  • Posts: 81
  • Langley, BC, Canada
    • Sunrise Lake Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 03:01:37 PM »
Thanks MickeyM.

Would the 'ping' have to be sent vertical, I.e. straight down? If yes, that would eliminate ultrasonic for me as the sensor would have to be on shore so as to be in a constant fixed position. Or do I have the concept wrong? Would the ping get returned by the water surface or the lake bottom? Perhaps a little robot rowboat once a day to a constant spot?

I've run across some sensors bases on pressure, which would work great but are outside the budget. A couple of hundred I can sneak by. Much more than that would probably get noticed and may effect my quality of life around the house :)

So much more stuff to learn :)

I think I found the answer to my (now dumb sounding) questions thanks to following NorCal Dan's link. Looks like ultrasonic would have to sit above the water via an arm of sorts to measure distance to surface. Looks like I'm stuck with something based of pressure.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 03:13:56 PM by hwitten »

Offline niko

  • syzygy
  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 24,132
  • Crystal Ball broken! Please post the URL.
  • Northern California, U.S.A.
    • http://www.realweatherstation.com
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 03:15:50 PM »
That's why I suggested on a dock, but later I thought of floating docks and of course that wouldn't work  #-o

Offline hwitten

  • Posts: 81
  • Langley, BC, Canada
    • Sunrise Lake Weather
Re: Monitoring of Lake Water level possible?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2008, 03:23:26 PM »
Not going to throw out the ultrasonic altogether though. May just have to adjust some thinking. Water level becomes more important, or rather more of interest, once it reaches the bottom of our retaining wall. I may consider an 'arm' to swing out/extend at that time and measure from that point on. Not quite as useful as monitoring water lever all year long but perhaps a good start.