Remote ph/Water Level Monitoring at a Remote Location

BACKGROUND: The study location is at a reclamation project at an inactive mining operation. Although the operation is idled there is an active National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Water leaving the permitted area is collected in a series of settling ponds before it is discharged off the permit. Part of the permit requirement is that water being discharged from the permit area back to the environment maintain a pH between 6.0 and 9.0.

IDENTIFIED PROBLEM: The pH of the untreated water collected in the settling ponds stayed somewhere between 3.0 and 5.0 pH which is out of compliance with the active NPDES permit. This can cause a company to be fined by the regulatory agency that issued the permit. To maintain compliance the company chemically treats the water with sodium hydroxide before it reaches the outfall. Problems with their procedure include:

  1. Under the NPDES permit if the pond is not discharging there is no requirement to treat the water;
  2. Since the operation is inactive there were no employees assigned to the jobsite full time. The closest employees were 45 minutes away and would travel daily to monitor the pH and turn the sodium hydroxide on or off as needed; and
  3. If the pond stopped discharging while the sodium hydroxide was being applied there was a chance no one would be onsite to turn the expensive chemical off.

SOLUTION: Sauls Seismic installed a remote pH and a water level monitoring system onsite. This continuous sampling system transmits pH and water-level data via telemetry to our secure data-storage facility and is made available to the customer in near-real time. Sauls also set customized alert limits so the customer is notified immediately via text/email when:

  1. ph drops below 6.5 or rises above 8.5; and
  2. water level reaches 6 inches below the discharge pipe.

This allows the customer time to react to a change in the pH and/or water level before they become noncompliant with their permit requirements. The client can also view the data at any time via the Internet on their computer, tablet, or phone.

BENEFIT: The customer can view the status of their water level/pH without visiting the site. With reduced travel time to/from the mine there is a significant cost savings, increased safety benefit, and employees can concentrate on other tasks. The customer has also saved thousands of dollars in chemical cost because they are no longer wasting sodium hydroxide.

Project Details

  • Project Name : Remote ph/Water Level Monitoring at a Remote Location​


  • Sauls Seismic, LLC
    2879 Alton Way Birmingham, Alabama USA 35210
  • (866) 527-2477