Monitoring Retention Pond Levels

Monitoring Retention Pond Levels Image

Application: Monitoring levels in a retention pond

Challenges: Ponds are widely distributed

Solution: MultiHop Data Radios

Benefits: Data Radios transmit data to a central location

Many states have clean water acts mandating the existence of retention ponds to contain runoff from parking lots and building roofs. This mandate is typically based on the total square footage. In this application, the runoff is generated by a facility designed for automotive manufacturing.

Although this runoff can eventually be released into the municipal water system, the water cannot be released until after it is tested. For this reason, retention pond levels must be monitored after each rainstorm.

Large facilities may have several runoff ponds in widely distributed locations. Using a wireless monitoring system eliminates the need for someone to drive out to each pond to monitor water levels.


A network of solar-powered MultiHop radios can span long distances, eliminating the need for manual data collection. With three retention ponds separated by up to a mile and several buildings, this level monitoring application used MultiHop data radios to transmit level information back to a central location with a PC-based controller.

The FlexPower Solar Supply powers the submersible pressure sensors and MultiHop radios with analog inputs at each pond location. Level information was transmitted directly to the master radio.

The master MultiHop radio and DX83 Ethernet Bridge were centrally located on the roof of a building and powered from the available 10 to 30V dc. All MultiHop radios used an omnidirectional antenna to ensure a reliable long-range communication network.

The automotive manufacturer and maintenance engineers responsible for gathering pond level information were able to eliminate the manual process for several retention ponds and ensure environmental compliance. Because the MultiHop networks are self-forming and self-healing, long-range, reliable networks are easy to install and maintain.

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