Turbidity Buoy Deployment: Lake Michigan Embayment

By on August 17, 2010

Project Overview

A large Midwest consulting firm was contracted to remove contaminated sediments from an embayment of Lake Michigan. As part of the regulations, the firm was required to monitor turbidity at two depths and five locations surrounding the dredge in order to ensure that contaminated sediment levels did exceed a specified range in the water. If sediment levels did fall outside of the range, the dredge operator would have to be notified to slow down or alter the dredging operation.

As an embayment of Lake Michigan, with significant wave action and harsh weather conditions, the dredge site offered significant challenge for deploying and maintaining the monitoring sensors. The consulting firm selected Fondriest Environmental. Fondriest assembled and deployed turbidity buoy systems with real-time data telemetry.

System DescriptionNexSens 4100-iSIC Radio Data Logger

Fondriest Environmental application engineers configured and set up a notification system that met the requirements of the consulting firm’s specifications. Using a NexSens data buoy, NexSens 4100-iSIC data loggers with radio telemetry and D&A Instruments OBS3 turbidity sensors, five data buoys were strategically anchored around the dredge. The OBS3 sensors were set to measure turbidity at both 5 and 10 meter depths.

During the dredging operations, this data was collected at constant intervals and sent through license-free, spread spectrum radio to the base station, where turbidity levels were being closely monitored in real-time using NexSens iChart software. When turbidity exceeded the regulatory limits, the dredge operator was immediately notified using a handheld radio.

Thanks to Fondriest application engineers and the NexSens real-time turbidity buoy monitoring system, the contractors were able to dredge the embayment safely and successfully without incident.

Base Station Equipment List
1001iChart software
4100-BASESpread spectrum base radio
A32RF cable, low-loss, 20′
A38Ground Kit
A39Lightning Protection
A41Omni antenna, radio frequency, 890-970 MHz
Floating Platform Equipment List
MB -250Data Buoy, 250 lb. buoyancy
A22Solar power kit, 20-watt
A03Battery, 12 VDC, 26 Ah
B21Amber buoy beacon
4100-iSICSpread spectrum radio with iSIC
MOOR-1Single point mooring, pyramid anchor, chain & connection hardware
OBS-3Turbidity sensor
OBS-3-5M5m cable
OBS-3-10M10m cable


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

FishSens SondeCAM HD