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Water Monitoring Applications

Working on Water

Senix ToughSonic® Ultrasonic Transmitters perform water monitoring with “non-contact” technology that looks down at the water surface from above. These sensors are used in open air and in stilling tubes that constrain the sound and improve performance. They are easy to use and reliable, and thousands are installed in applications around the world for irrigation, stream monitoring, flood and tsunami warnings and sea level monitoring.

Water Delivery to Farms in Australia

Industries & Applications

  • Irrigation
  • Flood Monitoring
  • Open Channel Flow
  • Sea Level Monitoring
  • Streams, Rivers, Ponds
  • Wastewater

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The Sensors

Whether used indoors or out, ToughSonic® sensors can take abuse. Solid state electronic components are epoxy potted into stainless steel housings, and there are no mechanical parts to break. IEC compliant electrical interfaces are protected from reversed connections and over-voltages.

These distance measurement sensors connect with all common types of automation and telemetry equipment. Applications range from simple analog connections to sophisticated multi-sensor data networks. Our sensors are cost effective because flexible connectivity is embedded in the sensor’s software – power that you can unlock with the SenixVIEW PC software included with every sensor. Push-button “teach” is also included in many models.

  • Type 316 stainless steel housings
  • Sealed epoxy potted construction
  • Ruggedized piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers
  • Liquid tight IP68 immersion rating
  • IEC compliant electrical interface protection
  • Hardened ToughSonic internal electronics
  • UV-resistant, potted-in cable
  • CE compliant
  • Connects to SCADA and other equipment
  • Several standard interfaces including analog 4-20 mA current loop, analog voltage and serial data
  • Interface distances, output ranges and response features are adjustable to suit the application
  • Duplicate installations without re-calibration
  • Operates in battery operated systems
  • Support software included for sensor installation


Water Delivery

Historically, farm water was controlled manually.

Irrigation Water Monitoring

But there’s a better way…

Remote Monitoring

ToughSonic® ultrasonic sensors are used to measure the level of channels, canals and gates to control the distribution of irrigation water. The sensors connect with SCADA systems and are compatible with battery operation, and used worldwide by irrigation districts and water providers. Murray Irrigation, Australia’s largest private environmental and irrigation water delivery company, uses the ToughSonic 14 to manage water distribution to many of their approximately 2,200 landholdings throughout southern New South Wales. Customers on their PIIOP program can order, sell and buy water from their cell phone using telemetry-enabled, automated and/or remote-controlled technology. Please see our article on this project.


Typical Bridge Gate

Above: Sensors are located at the top of “stilling tubes”. These tubes extend into the water, constrain the sound, and have temperature compensation features.

Right or Below: Typical stilling tubes with low water level in the channel.

Open-air monitoring of a small canal.

Open Channel Flow

Flumes, Weirs & Channels

Open Channel Flow measurement determines the volume of water, effluent or industrial waste flowing through a channel, flume or weir. Flumes and weirs are hydraulic structures within which the liquid flow rate is determined by measuring the height of the liquid flowing through the structure. That height is converted to flow using an equation specific to the structure. Positioned at the required location, ToughSonic sensors measure the liquid height by non-contact distance measurement looking down at the liquid surface. An example Parshall flume drawing is shown at the right. Typical weirs are shown below. Flow rate through the weir can be controlled by adjusting the vertical position of a gate.

Parshall Flume Sketch

Small weir for water level control

Small weir for water level control

Weir waterfall

Water management with a flowing weir in a stream

Open channel with water flowing

Water flowing from a weir

Flood Monitoring

Rivers & Streams

Senix ToughSonic® sensors measure the level of water flowing in streams and rivers. Sensors mounted on bridges and other structures look down at the water to report flood status via telemetry. The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) was formed in 2009 to engage in flood-related projects to help Iowans understand their flood risks and make better decisions. In 2010 they chose ToughSonic sensors for their new Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) and over several years that system has added over 200 monitoring sites using ToughSonic 50 sensors. Please see our article on the IFIS system for additional information.


Senix ToughSonic 50 Level Sensor with rear mounting threads

Iowa Integrated Stream Stage Sensor

Iowa Flood Center Stream Gauge

Iowa Flood Map with current rainfall conditions superimposed. Blue dots are monitoring sites that use the ToughSonic 50 level sensor.

Sea Level

Other Water Applications

Here are just some of the many other water level applications for Senix ToughSonic sensors:

  • Water tank level
  • Waste water
  • Tidal monitoring
  • Ocean wave monitoring
  • Towing tanks


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