Dock Monitoring System


Pre-existing structures such as docks, piers and bridge pilings are great locations for the deployment of a long-term water quality, hydrology, and/or weather monitoring system. Mounting to secure structures cuts down expenses, allows for better accessibility and provides a simple means for gathering valuable weather and water quality data.

Dock Monitoring

A changing climate with rising sea levels and more severe weather events means it is more important than ever to maintain oversight in ports, harbors and marinas. Property and infrastructure may be at risk of severe weather and waves, and water quality may be harmed by sources of pollution.
According to NOAA, sea levels are rising at an increasing rate currently averaging over one inch every 10 years.
Floodwater may introduce pollutants that adversely affect water quality and aquatic ecosystems even after floodwaters recede.
As a result of higher sea levels, storm surges push farther inland and cause more frequent instances of flooding.
Ports with heavy shipping traffic and industrial activity may also be a source of toxic pollutants and can lead to bioaccumulation in fish and other species.
Ships and boats docked in harbours and marinas, as well as surrounding infrastructure, are susceptible to damage from severe weather and waves.
Nutrient loads combined with warming particularly in stagnant waters surrounding docks can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Typical Dock Monitoring System

Dock monitoring systems may incorporate any number of different weather and water quality parameters such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), turbidity, chlorophyll and blue-green algae. Water level, wave and current measurements can also be performed. Central to all of the different types of systems is that docks provide an accessible structure for deployment and maintenance of measurement equipment.

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Case Studies


Chesapeake Bay Best Management Practices

Because of the roles that shallow areas play in supporting the health of Chesapeake Bay, including serving as productive regions full of grass beds and nursery grounds for juvenile fish, managers with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are understandably interested in keeping tabs on how their conditions change over time. It’s possible to assess some of those by going out at a set interval (daily, weekly, monthly) and gathering water samples to analyze. But such a scheduled approach wouldn’t give managers the around-the-clock data that they really need to get a complete picture of what’s going on in the shallows over time.

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Buck Creek Dam Removal & Restoration

Located in southwest Ohio, Buck Creek and its tributary, Beaver Creek, run through a series of low-head dams in the city of Springfield. Historically, the four dams diverted water for mills and local industry and protected utilities along a continuous four-mile reach. However, they’ve also interfered with the water’s natural flow and inhibited stream health. The Springfield Conservancy District and Friends of the Buck Creek Recreation Corridor are working to restore a more natural flow to the creek while maintaining the benefits provided by the dams. Though planned changes to the dams are primarily for recreational purposes, they will help restore the flow of sediments and fish, as well as provide a healthier ecosystem for Buck Creek. Approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, removal of one of the low-head dams and modification of another began in the fall of 2009.

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River Water Quality and Automated Sampling System

Located within the quickly developing area of northern Columbus and southern Delaware County, the Olentangy River is a tributary of the Scioto River in Ohio. Despite rapid housing and business development around the Columbus area, the Olentangy River has seen an improvement in water quality, as it was upgraded to an exceptional warm water habitat by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Recently, Ohio State University’s Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park contacted NexSens Technology to install a water quality monitoring station with radio telemetry in the Olentangy River.

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