Rhodamine Dye Tracer Systems

By on August 16, 2010

Rhodamine dye in a stream. (Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

Until the advent of in situ rhodamine WT measurement systems, dye fluorometry hydrologic measurements were performed by the analysis of multiple samples physically extracted from the water body as the dye plume was naturally dispersed. Most of these investigations are performed using fluorometers designed for in vitro and pump-through measurements.

Although these methods can produce accurate hydrologic data, they are resource-intensive, significantly vulnerable to human error and other natural phenomenon. They also necessitate the field deployment of personnel throughout the duration of the study. The recent employment of in situ measurement systems has accentuated the limitations of in vitro and pump-through methods for performing these studies. As the demand for the quantity and quality of hydrologic data increases, investigators have begun to search for alternatives, and have indicated that in situ, unattended measurement will be the method of choice for future dye fluorometry hydrologic measurements.

Rhodamine Dye Tracing Optical Sonde

Fondriest Environmental’s selection of YSI multi-parameter optical sondes are ideal platforms for in situ rhodamine dye tracing. For applications in which rhodamine is the only parameter that must be monitored, the YSI 600OMS V2 optical monitoring sonde in particular is an ideal choice for rhodamine tracing.

The 600OMS V2 utilizes the field-proven YSI sensors and incorporates innovations in sensor configuration such as a conductivity and temperature module that fits into the sonde body. The 600OMS V2 is available with or without internal power.

Rhodamine WT Sensor

The 600 OMS V2 can be paired with the model 6130 rhodamine WT sensor. YSI developed this sensor in response to the need for accurate, in situ measurement of Rhodamine WT in water and pollutant tracing. The 6130 is a fouling-resistant, wiped sensor designed to seamlessly integrate — using no external interface hardware – with all YSI sondes that contain an optical port. The built-in wiper activates prior to each sensor reading.
The YSI 6130 provides accurate, in situ measurement of Rhodamine WT in fresh, brackish, and sea water, as well as in stormwater and wastewater. The YSI 6130 Rhodamine WT Sensor rejects turbidity and chlorophyll interference. Measurement accuracy is further enhanced through correction for the effects of temperature.

The unattended Rhodamine WT system is ideal for time of travel studies, dispersion and mixing studies, circulation, and stormwater retention studies.

Data Logging & Telemetry

The YSI 6130 in combination with one of the YSI multi-parameter sondes can be used for unattended continuous monitoring or integrated with data collection platforms for real-time data acquisition. These rhodamine dye tracer systems are compatible with NexSens iSIC data loggers. NexSens data loggers can connect to virtually any sensor via analog and digital interfaces. Specifically designed for remote environmental monitoring applications, these data loggers offer superior data acquisition performance in extreme conditions. There are options for landline phone, cellular, radio, Ethernet, WiFi, and satellite telemetry.

A NexSens data logger simultaneously supports eight analog inputs and four digital inputs for multi-sensor data logging capability. All electronics are housed in a rugged, NEMA 4X enclosure constructed of heavy-duty ­fiberglass. The built-in 8.5 amp-hour sealed lead acid battery provides 12-volt power to the system, and the battery can continuously charge using AC or solar power. Polymer-coated circuit boards, sealed connectors, corrosion-resistant stainless steel hardware, and built-in lightning protection ensure reliable performance in even the harshest conditions. All sensor cables run through Sealcon gland fittings to ensure protection from the elements.

The NexSens SDL500 submersible data logger is also available for situations in which the data logger will be exposed to more severe environmental conditions. The SDL500 can withstand extreme wave action, drops, and floods. It consists of the data logger and communications module housed in a fully-submersible, five-inch-diameter round enclosure. It can be outfitted with either a spread-spectrum radio or cellular modem and antenna for real-time communication. It also offers five sensor ports for connection to industry-standard digital and analog sensors. Each sensor port offers a UW receptacle connection with double O-ring seals for waterproof sensor connections.

The SDL500 can be placed into a perforated PVC pipe. Alternatively, a NexSens data buoy can accommodate the data logger as well as three NexSens five-watt solar power packs to provide continuous power.

Data Acquisition Software

The computer at the receiving end of data logger transmissions requires software to acquire, process, analyze, and possibly publish water quality data. NexSens iChart software is a user-friendly package that can fulfill these needs, serving as the centralized interface and database for all incoming data. All data and sensor configuration settings are stored in a single iChart database. The software is designed with an open architecture and offers a straightforward interface, making it easy for individuals at any level of technical expertise to configure and customize a monitoring and data collection project.

The software offers a unique historical report creation tool that can generate customized reports with data from all sensors in an iChart database. When creating a report, users can include specific information about the monitoring site, location, sensors, and project. After creation, reports can be converted to PDF, exported to Microsoft Excel, sent to interested parties via email, uploaded to a web server, and more. The report template can also be saved and automatically generated, further automating the reporting process.

Real-Time Online Datacenter

iChart can export data directly into WQData, a secure web datacenter providing an online interface for viewing environmental data. It offers 24/7 instant access to project data using any web browser.

Project datacenter sites can be password-protected or publicly accessible. Using WQData, visitors can view dynamic project area maps overlaid with the most recent data, historical data, time series graphs, statistical summaries, and project-specific information.

An administrator login provides an intuitive interface for setting up the project, modifying data views, and adding relevant project information. Administrators can select from a library of predefined themes, enter site descriptions, set up data filters, and graph scales and other data attributes. Also included with WQData is the NexSens embeddable Web-Data Applet. This HTML code can be added to any web page to present visitors with a quick snapshot of project data that also links back to the complete project datacenter.

To learn more about rhodamine dye tracer system capabilities and options, call a Fondriest Environmental application engineer at 888.426.2151 or email customercare@fondriest.com.

Top image: Rhodamine dye in a stream. (Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

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