Stevens-Connect Helps Florida DEP Monitor
Water Resources and Plan for the Future
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), in conjunction with several other State agencies, launched a new data monitoring program to provide insights into many Florida waterways. With the objective of easily sharing water and weather data between State and Federal agencies and with the general public, FDEP chose to utilize a Stevens-Connect system to process, display, and store data online.
Introduced by Stevens Water Monitoring Systems, Inc. in 2010, Stevens-Connect is a web-based software program residing on highly secured, remote servers within the Internet cloud. The program automatically collects data from any type of remote sensor or data logger. This data can be presented directly as graphs, charts, forms, or tabular format on a dedicated website that can be accessed from any computer or smart phone with Internet access.
The State of Florida’s complex network of fresh and salt-water resources needs to be monitored constantly. Rivers, lakes, streams, aquifers and swamps dot the State; and many are inter-connected in complex systems that interact with the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico.
In order to properly manage the state’s waterways and to plan for future projects, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has set up marine data collection stations across the state.
This data will be used to model watersheds, estuarine systems and rivers with regard to the hydrologic and hydrodynamics of these systems.
The results of this data collection will facilitate State agencies in the management and restoration of these systems. The stations measure water current and tide level,
water quality parameters, as well as meteorological parameters. Such measurements will provide the information needed to evaluate current water conditions and quality, and will provide a starting point for future water quality models and submerged aquatic vegetation models.
Stevens-Connect Provides Easy Data Collection and Analysis
In addition to research applications, the FDEP wanted to easily share the collected information with the public, who use Florida’s waterways for commercial and recreational purposes. The FDEP chose to utilize Stevens-Connect to consolidate the data collected by each station onto a dedicated website that the public can read and understand without specialized training or software.
The FDEP Stevens-Connect monitoring site home page, showing stations across the state of Florida.
Each station is equipped with a Stevens DataLogic 3000 data logger, collecting data from sensors located at each site. Sensors include the AquaTrak tide gauge water level sensor, Greenspan electrical conductivity (EC) sensors and other water quality signal parameter sensors, and sensors for atmospheric conditions including rain fall, air temperature, wind speed/direction, barometric pressure, and humidity.
Each site has been configured with a cellular data modem allowing the data collected by the Stevens DL3000 and attached sensors to be directly uploaded to the FDEP Stevens-Connect site, which resides on the Internet as a Stevens Cloud Service.
A “cloud service” is simply a software programs residing entirely on the Internet instead of a personal computer or server at the user’s office. Collected data is stored in a highly secured location with data redundancy routines and daily backups. The system is not subject to local power outages, computer server issues or software update / upgrade requirements.
Visual example of data being collected at a FDEP station and sent to Stevens-Connect.
Data is uploaded to Stevens-Connect and is displayed on the website in real-time. Each monitoring station has its own page, where data from that station’s sensors can be viewed in several formats. All historical data is also made available for export and download for further analysis. Customized features other users of Stevens-Connect have incorporated include:
- Alarm notifications via e-mail, SMS and synthesized voice;
- Map overlays with color-coded warning thresholds;
- Multi-dimensional graphs with user selectable parameters for comparative analysis;
- Password protection and various levels of data access;
- Post processing of data for automatic calculations such as flow measurement, evapotranspiration, min / max, data averaging, and more.
- See the Stevens-Connect software product page for more information regarding features and benefits of Stevens-Connect.
Example of typical station data overview page, showing the latest collected data in an easy-to-understand visual format. All data can also be viewed as graphs or in tabular format and downloaded to a local computer for further analysis.
Stevens-Connect enables the FDEP and other partnering agencies to efficiently and effectively manage the availability and quality of the State of Florida’s water ways. Easy access to monitoring information on the Internet in near real-time (data is updated every 6 minutes) allows for better monitoring of environmental conditions as they change, allowing for quick decisions and agency responses.
Intra-agency communication has also been improved through different departments and agencies sharing a single set of data. Finally, Stevens-Connect
the FDEP's public mission and objective by enabling the public to be better informed on the conditions of Florida’s water ways.
The FDEP Stevens-Connect site is available for viewing at any time by visiting http://www.fldep-stevens.com with any web browser.
To learn more about how Stevens-Connect can improve access to data from your monitoring sites, contact Stevens Water at 503-445-8000 or email email@example.com for more information.