Masinotek Implements Automatic Groundwater Monitoring for ELY Centre

ELY Centre for Southern Ostrobothnia, one of the The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, is in charge of the second largest embankment dam in Finland near the town of Kurikka. The earth-filled dam is part of the artificial lake Pitkämö and enables the function of a hydroelectric power-plant. During the major floods of the Fall 2012, the dam was in the danger of failing, which is why the ELY Centre is now increasing the monitoring of the dam. Masinotek Oy delivers to the ELY Centre an automatic monitoring solution for the groundwater inspection wells near the dam.

The sensors and GSM connected loggers supplied by Masinotek Oy, will enable the continuous measurements of groundwater level and also the water level of the artificial lake Pitkämö. These measurements are then used for monitoring the performance of the dam. The scope of the delivery entails specification, purchase, setup and installation of the sensors and loggers, and also the implementation and maintenance of the monitoring service software. The field installations at the town of Kurikka took place during the January of 2014 and were performed in co-operation with the ELY Centre.

For the groundwater level measurements at the artificial lake Pitkämö, Masinotek is using the pressure sensors and the GSM-2 data logger from the Switzerland based Keller AG. Because of the harsh winters of Finland, special requirements were set for the hardware. One of the challenges during the project was to deliver a GSM connected logger that supported multiple pressure sensors usable in the groundwater level measurements, and also met the requirements for the operation temperature.

Masinotek has delivered monitoring solutions based on the products from Keller AG during many other projects were there has been a need for a rugged and reliable hardware, and specially for sites were the mains electricity is not available. Based on calculations and the sending interval of once a day, the logger model used in the project is capable of operating for five years with a single battery.

The measurements from the artificial lake Pitkämö are delivered via the mobile network operator Elisa to the production servers of Masinotek. There the messages from the loggers are parsed and results delivered to the web based environment monitoring application EMMI. The measurements are readily available in EMMI as raw data (pressures and temperatures) and as derived (groundwater level). The results can be studied in EMMI as numerical values or with versatile graphical tools.

In addition to the groundwater level calculations, an automatic measurements monitoring service was implemented to EMMI. The service is used for receiving the water level data of artificial lake Pitkämö from SYKE, the Finnish Environment Institute. The measured values are compiled once a day to a report that is delivered to the ELY Centre's system of dam safety via communications interface implemented by Masinotek specifically for this project.