In an effort to upgrade aging dam monitoring systems, Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) contracted Eyasco Inc. in 2015 to install its EmbankNET system at several of its dam sites, including Almaden, Guadalupe, Anderson, and Calero dam. The system is an important part of SCVWD’s Dam Safety Program as it provides actionable data during and after rain storms and seismic events.
The EmbankNET system stations, called ‘QuBs’ are built by Eyasco from monitoring components manufactured by Campbell Scientific and spread-spectrum radios manufactured by Freewave Radios. Each monitoring station is designed to read vibrating wire piezometers (VWP) and/or In-place Inclinometers (IPI), communicate via radio and be powered by a 30-watt unbreakable solar panel. Error trapping and retries are built into the programming scheme for maximum communications reliability. A point-to-multipoint deployment is utilized with some radios configured as slave/repeaters to act as a link between two or more stations that would otherwise be unable to communicate due to extended distances and/ or impeding obstacles.
Each dam site contains a Network Master station which is responsible for triggering periodic measurement events from VWP and IPI stations, and collecting the measurement data. It also hosts a web page that displays real time measurement information and alarm indicators that can be accessed over the satellite link. Seismic triggers are used to initiate higher sampling periods in the event of an earthquake.
Data stored on the Host is forwarded to SCVWD headquarters via a satellite modem and is stored and managed by Eyasco’s Merlin software. A suite of reports – both user initiated and scheduled – are used to evaluate sensor data and system performance, and to comply with California State DSOD reporting requirements.
Merlin consolidates the acquired monitoring data and provides a number of tools for viewing, analysis and reporting.