According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), more than 4 million people rely on the Huron-to-Erie corridor for their drinking water. This corridor encompasses the St. Clair River and the Detroit River.

Both of these rivers have been subjected to various contaminant spills over the years. These include substances like municipal and industrial discharges, contaminated sediments and combined sewer overflow materials. As a result, the St. Clair River is listed as an Area of Concern.

To aid in bringing back the ailing waterways, as well as protect the quality of drinking water for the millions of people who rely on them, the Michigan DEQ worked with NexSens Technology to source needed equipment for assembling a large-scale monitoring network. Officials at the DEQ were looking for data-logging equipment, software and a real-time web datacenter service that could transmit data on the two rivers’ water quality and provide simplified, web-based interfaces to manage project data.

Monitoring drinking water for the masses

Those building the network chose to equip water treatment facilities along the rivers with NexSens 5100-iSIC Data Loggers. Connected to these at the various monitoring sites are many sensors important for tracking changes in water quality, including YSI 6600 V2-4 Multi-Parameter Water Quality Sondes, Turner Hydrocarbon Fluorometers, Inficon Hapsite Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometers (GC/MS) and Hach Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzers.

Sensors at each site relay their readings to the data loggers, all of which are equipped with Ethernet telemetry that allows them to link up directly with existing network infrastructure at the plants. The data points are displayed in NexSens iChart software, which serves as a central project database for instrument information. Within the software, project managers configure alarms and alerts (emails, text messages, etc.) based on pre-set parameter limits, allowing them to know precisely when changes to water quality need attention.

From there, iChart software ports data from all the monitoring sites into NexSens’ WQData web datacenter service. The password-protected, online datacenter allows officials to view data in tables, statistical summaries and graphs. An integrated project forum also facilitates communication and information sharing between personnel.

With the robust network of data loggers and water quality sensors providing real-time data up and down the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers, state and local officials are tracking the rivers’ health with improved accuracy and consistency. The network also serves as a safeguard system that can quickly alert managers to the presence of spills or contaminants affecting the rivers, and subsequently those who rely on the channels for drinking water.


NexSens iSIC V2 Environmental Data Loggers

The NexSens iSIC V2 Environmental Data Logger offers the latest in real-time monitoring technology with wireless communication, large plug-and-play sensor library, and ultra-low power consumption.

The YSI EXO represents the next generation of water quality instruments from YSI. The EXO2 sonde includes six sensor ports and a central anti-fouling wiper option.

Turner Designs Cyclops-7F Submersible Sensors

The Cyclops-7F submersible sensor is a high performance and compact fluorometer designed for integration into any platform that supplies power and data logging.

NexSens WQData LIVE Web Datacenter

WQData LIVE is a web-based project management service that allows users 24/7 instant access to data collected from remote telemetry systems.