• Gracey Griffin

Waterwatch Q & A

In October 2017 Tussock Innovation launched Waterwatch, a brand dedicated to improving water management, stemming from our shared values of environmental protection.

Starting out as a flood abatement solution, we quickly realised the many applications for our new found technology and how we can protect and manage nature’s most precious resources.

The Waterwatch brand currently has three products for monitoring water levels in different applications;

Firstly, the LS1 ultrasonic liquid level sensor for open water such as rivers, ponds, dams and tidal monitoring.

Secondly, the LS1-P depth sensor which uses a long cable with a pressure transducer on the end to measure water levels in confined spaces and underground galleries.

The third sensor is the T35 tank sensor for water and chemical tank levels. This can be installed on concrete, plastic and metal tanks.

Waterwatch sensors are configurable to suit any project from agriculture and environmental protection to city infrastructure and industrial supply.

How is the hardware designed to compete with harsh environmental conditions?

All three units are designed to be deployed in outdoor environments for long periods, collecting data consistently. These environments are often subject to frequent flooding, snowy winters and 40+°C summers. Waterwatch sensors are tested to IP67 waterproof protection and operation temperatures from -40°C to +85°C.

One of our LS1 flood sensors was submerged in flooding events for more than 13 days - once the water levels returned to normal, the sensor continued to measure and report levels accurately. The Polycarbonate + PBT enclosure also protects the unit from harmful UV rays.

With a focus on reducing staff movements to and from remote areas, we have ensured that the units require minimal maintenance. A custom lithium battery provides 3-5 years of battery life depending on measurement intervals.

How do the sensors communicate? Do you require line of sight?

Our sensors communicate via either cellular networks (similar to your phone) or over the Sigfox network - with satellite communication coming soon. This ensures we have the greatest coverage of rural areas across NZ and Australia.

It also means that you are able to check water levels and notifications from your phone, no matter where you are, at home, on the farm, in the office or out and about.

How are the sensors powered? Do they have solar panels?

Our sensors are powered by a custom lithium battery with 3-5 years running time. Not using solar pannels makes the sensors more robust and waterproof as well as requiring minimal maintenance. Solar panels require servicing and the extra components and cables leave more room for damages to occur. This means our sensors can also be used underground or inside buildings.

Replaceable batteries can be purchased from our online store when needed.

How do I install a Waterwatch sensor?

We have designed our products to be simple to install yourself. Simply use screws to secure the unit in place and use the provided magnet wand to switch on Bluetooth and connect to your phone.

More information about installation can be found here: https://www.waterwatch.io/setup

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