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Salinity Monitoring and Penstock Automation
Oriel SystemsMay 25, 2012 10:41 BST
The Halvergate Marshes, situated between Norwich and Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk Broads were designated a SSSI by English Nature prior to the formation of Natural England.
The Water Management Alliance is a consortium of 5 Internal Drainage Boards including the Broads Internal Drainage Board who ensure that the delicate balance between salt and fresh water is preserved to allow both flora and fauna to flourish and provide sufficient fresh water for local wildlife, farm animals and internationally important bird species.
Previously, local farmers controlled water levels with a series of dams and sluice inlets allowing fresh water from the River Bure to enter but this method of management could no longer be solely relied upon. A penstock was recently installed, but again this still required manual operation.
Oriel Systems were asked to automate the penstock and provide a system that could automatically raise the penstock proportionally in increments from 0 through to 100% open, to only let fresh water in to the mill pond and subsequently the Fleet, but only when the Fleet was able to take the water.
Once the control strategy was agreed upon Oriel installed in-line salinity monitoring equipment at both the River Bure and the Mill pond. Ultrasonic water level sensors were installed at the Bure, the Mill Pond and some 4Km away at the Fleet where an Oriel Low Power Telemetry Outstation was installed to transmit the signal back to Halvergate by radio.
An Oriel Intelligent Telemetry Outstation takes care of the day to day sampling of salinity and water levels. It also makes the decision whether to operate the penstock and if so, by how much. In the case of power failure the system automatically lowers the penstock stopping any water getting through.
All critical site information is automatically transmitted back to the central office and the Operations Manager is notified by voicemail of any on-site problems. Once at the Telemetry Master Station PC or if out in the field the operator can view and act upon information from their laptop and is also able to remotely control the equipment from there.