When it comes to water level monitoring – there are alternatives

September 24, 2014

Flood proofing our environment is vital if we don’t want to see the devastation we experienced during the winter of 2013/2014. That’s why the Environment Agency has recently completed the UK’s biggest ever coastal realignment scheme in Somerset to protect local businesses and houses from future flooding.

The Steart Marshes flood management scheme, developed in partnership with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), involved the construction of a giant saltmarsh which will naturally absorb wave energy, protecting people and property from storm surges and proves there are alternatives to managing water levels. This new scheme will protect homes and businesses by using wetland technology that works with nature, not against it. The Steart Marshes project involved half a million cubic metres of soil being removed to create new and improved flood banks after the extreme weather of 2013/14 caused havoc for communities and businesses in the South West. The newly excavated 200 metre gap in the Parrett Estuary coastal embankments is being managed as farmland and a nature reserve and should become a nursery for commercial fish stocks such as sea bass. It will also protect newly constructed flood banks from erosion so that they last longer. The Environment Agency manages over 200km of coastal banks around the Severn Estuary with the aim of reducing the flood risk to more than 100,000 homes and businesses. The estimated value of these structures is £5bn but this activity is ongoing as these structures will need to be maintained going forward. As well as directly protecting homes and businesses the new wetland will help protect valuable infrastructure like the National Grid power lines into Hinkley Point power station.

Saltmarsh is a natural flood risk management scheme like coral reefs or mangroves in the tropics. Saltmarsh takes energy out of the tide and reduces wave height and at the Steart Marshes site the new flood embankments are set behind hundreds of metres of saltmarsh which will reduce the impact of high tides on them, bringing down maintenance costs and prolonging their life.

Van Walt’s Diver Level Logger range and in particular the Cera and CTD Diver units work well in these saltmarsh environments as they are designed for water level monitoring in potentially corrosive conditions, being innovatively manufactured using ceramic housing technology. They are easy to use and install making them ideal for long-term measuring in corrosive conditions. They are corrosion proof, robust and durable being available in various measuring ranges.

For more information visit: https://www.vanwalt.com/water-level-loggers-diver-e-Sense.html or call us on +44(0)1428 661 660.

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