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Florida utility deploys smart solutions to monitor lake levels

Technicians can identify when lakes are at risk for flooding and drive directly to the affected lakes to open or close flood control structures

 

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The Sensus technology is helping Lakeland maintain balanced water levels
The Sensus technology is helping Lakeland maintain balanced water levels

The City of Lakeland’s public works division has deployed Internet of Things (IoT) technology from Sensus to monitor lake levels and help improve its flood prevention capabilities.

 

For scientists at the lakes and storm water division of the Florida utility, manual monitoring of lake levels to prevent flooding is reportedly a time-consuming and resource-draining task, especially during the nearly four-month rainy season.

 

“Maintaining balanced water levels is critical to avoid flooding in residential areas and conserve enough water for the dry season,” said Laurie Smith, manager of the City of Lakeland’s lakes and stormwater division.

 

“Our technician has to drive back and forth between 11 lakes and make sure the levels don’t get too high.”

 

As a long-time Sensus customer, the Lakeland team opted to leverage its investment in the FlexNet system to create remote water monitoring stations at two lakes using Sensus’ smart gateway sensor interface.

 

According to Sensus, the IoT has municipalities and communities rethinking the potential for using existing and future investments in technology to improve the lives of the citizens they serve.

 

With Smart Gateway and the FlexNet system, the City of Lakeland’s scientists are able to collect water level data remotely in real time. Technicians can identify when lakes are at risk for flooding and drive directly to the affected lakes to open or close the installed flood control structures, saving time and operational costs.

 

“Our FlexNet system had all we needed to build a remote monitoring solution, allowing us to reap tremendous cost savings from not having to implement new infrastructure,” said Smith.

 

“Initially, we weren’t sure if the solution was going to be accurate enough, but it exceeded our expectations.”

 

With the successful pilot of the solution at two of the city’s lakes, the team is looking ahead to deploying remote monitoring at the remaining nine lakes.

 

“The monitoring process used to take up the majority of our technician’s time during the work week, but now that time has been reduced dramatically,” added Smith. “We’re extremely pleased with the results of the pilot and are looking forward to having this system installed at all our lakes.”

 

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