Orlando Airport Wireless WQ Data

By on August 17, 2010

Project Overview

The Federal Clean Water Act and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) require that the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) use pollution prevention and abatement techniques at the Orlando International Airport.

To meet the goals of the Clean Water Act and ensure the effectiveness of its Stormwater Pollution Prevention plan, the airport has developed a water quality monitoring program that includes a network of water quality and water level monitoring devices at strategic water resource locations around the airport.

In order to maximize the efficiency of data collection, data processing, and equipment maintenance, Orlando Airport officials chose Fondriest Environmental to install 21 remote, solar-powered field sites that collect both water quality and stage data at 15-minute intervals. The data is sent via radio telemetry to the environmental project office, and it is also available to contractors and airport personnel via the Internet.

Prior to the project’s implementation, the FAA had issued an advisory circular concerning hazardous wildlife attractants on or near airports. The circular addressed retention ponds and their structures as being a potential attractant for birds. GOAA has since entered into a wildlife habitat reduction/mitigation agreement with the FAA that addresses a number of issues with ponds and their locations at the airport.

As construction proceeds at the airport, officials can use the data collected from various sites to assist in the design of future ponds, and possibly modify the existing stormwater system to meet the requirements of the FAA advisory circular. The data also ensures water quality meets both the State and Federal regulations and regulates flood control measures.

System Description

YSI 6-series multi-parameter sondes were chosen for water quality monitoring. With parameters measuring temperature, conductivity and optical turbidity, these sondes offer the latest in sensor technology and require very little maintenance.

The OTT Thalimedes float operated shaft encoders were selected for water level monitoring. The Thalimedes offers a simple, yet highly reliable method for detecting and logging water level data. The unit is small in size and is easily hidden in a 4 or 6 inch deployment pipe. An OTT locking well cap secures the unit.

NexSens iChart software queries the field sites on a periodic schedule, sending the real-time data via spread spectrum, interference-free radio waves to the GOAA environmental project office. iChart software then allows for data storage, analysis, graphical output, and system management from one central location. This data is also available to contractors and airport personnel via WQData.com, a password-protected website.

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