Wireless Water Level Monitoring

Wireless Water Level Monitoring

A wireless water level monitoring system makes any open pit mine safer and more efficient.

Unless countermeasures are introduced, all open-pit mines have a tendency to fill up with water over time. This water comes from a combination of rain water and ground water seeping into the mine from the surrounding water table. The presence of all of this water can be a safety hazard, as it may cause mine walls and surrounding facilities (e.g. roads and slopes) to become unstable.

A high water level in the open pit also presents operational challenges, as damp materials are harder to work with and cause corrosion and more wear and tear to mining equipment. As a result of these factors, mine dewatering is often practiced within open-pit mines, in order to lower the water table inside the mine and in the adjacent area.

Effective water management is therefore an important part of overall open-pit mine management. One of the key factors here is water level monitoring, in order to determine if the dewatering process is working and to be aware of any sudden inflows of water to the mine area.

In the past, water level monitoring had to be done manually using a variety of techniques and instruments. This process was time-consuming, labour-intensive and not always totally accurate. Modern remote water monitoring systems, by contrast, are accurate, simple to install and allow for the easy collection of data.

For maximum efficiency, sensors that measure water levels should be connected (up to 4 at a time) to wireless nodes, like the VW-RTU, to form a comprehensive wireless water level monitoring system. Each VW-RTU wireless node is capable of communicating wirelessly with any other node within range.

In this way, data collected from wireless water level monitoring sensors will be transmitted from node to node until it reaches an Ethernet gateway, at which point the data will enter the mine’s LAN network and be available to mine engineers and management, making use of a custom software package, e.g. MDT’s MineHop web interface, Vista Data Vision (VDV), MS Excel or any other 3rd party software package.