Bluetooth technology makes river monitoring easier

Article image - Bluetooth technology makes river monitoring easier Councilís Catchments Management Officer, Ken Brookes.

Central Coast Council has embraced Bluetooth technology to help monitor and protect the health of its local waterways.

Council’s Catchments Management Officer, Ken Brookes, said the technology allowed him to download vital water quality measurements without needing to enter the water.

“Council measures a number of water quality indicators at four locations in the lower Wyong River as part of its water extraction licence,” said Mr Brookes.
“We use automatic data loggers to test the water every hour and then once a week I download this information to send to our regulators.

“The data loggers are now equipped with Bluetooth technology, so there is no longer a need for me to get in a boat and plug directly into the equipment to get the information we need – I can collect it standing on the bank of the river.

“It’s a much safer and more cost-effective way of monitoring the water quality in Wyong River.

“It also means we can identify any problems and investigate them more quickly than if the process was still a manual one.”

Council also monitors flow on the lower reaches of the river using flow meters at the weir.

Data from these meters are automatically loaded to the Council’s system to ensure sufficient water is making its way down the river.
Council’s Administrator, Ian Reynolds, said it was exciting to discover the initiatives staff members have taken to make their jobs safer and more efficient.

“I am really keen to see Central Coast Council move forward as an innovative organisation, with staff empowered to find better ways to do their job. This is a great example of them doing just that,” Mr Reynolds said.

“The passion that our staff have for the local area is commendable. They are embracing technology to make their job safer and more efficient.

“It also means a better outcome for the local environment and community - it makes for a bright future for the Central Coast.”