Reliability when you need it most: challenges in Natural Water Monitoring
Reliability when you need it most: challenges in Natural Water Monitoring

The natural water environment is hostile and remote, making reliability critical to quality data collection, particularly when power is in short supply and service is expensive. This article will explore the key challenges faced by those in water monitoring industries and explore solutions to relevant concerns. 

Challenges in natural water monitoring

Independent power supply required

Piezo-resistive sensing elements and analogue electronics enable pulse power operation with readings taken in as little as 10 ms. This significantly reduces energy consumption. Voltage outputs reduce current consumptions to a few mA and in short cable run applications, mV output sensors reduce the power on time and current consumption even more. This minimises the requirements for expensive batteries or solar chargers.

Difficult to access for repair or calibration

nigh stability silicon sensing elements in robust packaging ensures accurate and reliable performance over long periods. This minimises the need to visit sites for the repair of faulty components and extends the periods between routine visits for calibration.


The risk of silting is reduced by connecting the pressure sensing element to the media through a carefully designed pressure port. Soft nose cones both protect the sensing element from physical shock damage and are easily removed allowing access to the open face connectors, which enable gentle cleaning in extreme circumstances.


Fully welded construction in high quality materials, injection moulded to the thick cable sheathing, ensure both the highest IP rating and reduce the risk of damage from debris moving in turbulent and fast moving water.

Extreme temperatures

The use of high quality electronic components allow options to accurately measure temperature ranges from -40°C – +125°C.

Salt corrosion

Titanium construction can give you confidence in the long and reliable operation of our sensors in salt water environments, while many years of corrosion free service minimise expensive site visits.

Lightning strikes

By building lightning surge arrestors into the sensor (on the electronics end of the inductance and capacitance of the cable,) the best protection in lightning affected areas can be offered. This helps to ensure the longest possible life in the field, thereby lowering the cost of ownership.

Surface debris and foaming

By measuring the pressure at depth in order to calculate level, BHGE pressure based level sensors are immune from incorrect readings caused by surface debris or foaming that will cause errors in line of sight based devices like Ultrasonics or Radar.

Narrow bore wells

With a sensor diameter as small as 17.5mm, units can be deployed in narrow wells reducing drilling costs. Cable in all models incorporates a Kevlar core which provides strength to allow long cable drops and minimises cable extension under loading. Accessories, like sink weights and cable clamping mechanisms, have been designed to make installation easy and ensure maximum life.

No line of sight

Sloping banks and obstructions like trees make some sites very difficult for line of sight methods. Pressure sensors can be installed in the deepest part of a river with an unobtrusive cable to bring the level information back to instrumentation.

Shallow water or dry river beds

Large silicon sensing elements make it possible to measure depths as shallow as 0.7m accurately. This makes accurate level measurement in V notch flow meters possible, where small changes in the water level results in a large change in flow.

Large changes in depth

Large overpressure capability makes it possible to measure normal operating conditions accurately and survive flood conditions.


Using pressure to measure level is unobtrusive, with much of the equipment hidden underwater. This reduces the instances of installations being damaged by acts of vandalism.

BHGE’s innovative pressure sensors use low levels of energy, providing a reliable long term measuring system solution, designed and built to perform in the most hostile of environments.

Download our "Accuracy Under Pressure" eBook to find out how BHGE can provide the data you can rely on, time after time.

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