The City of Lakeland’s scientists monitoring water levels with Sensus IoT solutions in order to prevent flooding. Photo credit: Sensus
Before the City of Lakeland turned to Sensus’ Internet of Things (IoT) smart technology, monitoring lake levels manually was, for scientists, a gruelling, resource-draining, time-consuming task, especially for the duration of the rainy season – that could last close to four months.
“Maintaining balanced water levels is critical to avoid flooding in residential areas and conserve enough water for the dry season,” Laurie Smith, manager of the City of Lakeland’s Lakes and Stormwater Division, said. “Our technician has to drive back and forth between 11 lakes and make sure the levels don’t get too high.”
Knowing that there was a better way to monitor the water levels in the lake, the staff turned to Sensus – a Xylem brand – to make their goal a reality with the innovative IoT technology the company offered. With unprecedented capabilities for advanced connectivity, IoT has numerous municipalities and communities rethinking their stances on the potential of utilising existing and future investments in technology to improve the lives of the citizens they serve.
A long-time Sensus customer, the staff were able to leverage on their investment in the FlexNet®communication network system to develop remote water monitoring stations at two lakes using the Sensus® Smart Gateway sensor interface.
“Our FlexNet system had all we needed to build a remote monitoring solution, allowing us to reap tremendous cost savings from not having to implement new infrastructure,” Smith explained.
With the FlexNet system and Smart Gateway in place, the scientists from the City of Lakeland are able to gather water level data remotely in real time. Technicians are now able to quickly pinpoint when lakes are at risk of flooding and can make their way directly to the affected lakes to either open or close the installed flood control structures, and saving both time and operational costs.
Presently, with the successful pilot tests at two of the city’s lakes, the team is looking to deploying the remote monitoring at the remaining nine lakes.
“Initially, we weren’t sure if the solution was going to be accurate enough, but it exceeded our expectations,” Smith said. “We also appreciate how easy it is to use. We’re lake scientists, not technology people, and we’ve been able to quickly and seamlessly use the technology to improve our monitoring capabilities. The monitoring process used to take up the majority of our technician’s time during the work week, but now that time has been reduced dramatically. We’re extremely pleased with the results of the pilot and are looking forward to having this system installed at all our lakes.”