Retrofitting a Lake Level Monitoring System

Monitoring lake level measurements with wireless sensors


The existing lake level measurement system at Moncks Corner, South Carolina was aging and needed to be upgraded to newer technology.

South Carolina requires two independent lake level monitoring systems. This particular installation used a radar gauge and an encoder and float system.

The new components, however, needed to use wireless technology for transmitting data to avoid having to run wire from the top of the dam to the dam office, located about a quarter of a mile away.


The old SDI-12 encoder and float system was replaced with a pressure transducer. A MultiHop Data Radio is wired to the pressure transducer and communicates using Modbus. A solar panel powers both the pressure transducer and MultiHop Data Radio.

The MultiHop Data Radio transmits the level measurements back to the dam’s control office and displays the measurements on a RedLion HMI display located in the dam’s office to make monitoring the lake level easy for the dam operators.

The new wireless monitoring system was installed by USGS field representative Brady Long.

The new lake level monitoring system has been operating for almost a year. Upgrading to a wireless system eliminated the need to run new wiring conduit and resulted in a dependable lake level monitoring solution. Lake level measurements are transmitted to the dam office for easy access.

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