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Automated Groundwater Level Wells

This website link (click here) below and to the right is a product of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) Water Science and Conservation group and is made possible by the support of management and staff at TWDB.  The TWDB installs and monitors automatic water level recorders in observation wells throughout the state.  An automatic groundwater level recorder well, or recorder well, refers to an unused water well installed with water level recording equipment (a recorder) and a datalogger.



TWDB Monitor Wells in Comal County.jpg

An automated groundwater recorder system is composed of six basic parts.

  1. The sensor obtains the actual water level measurement.  An optical sensor (or encoder — a measurement device that converts mechanical motion into electronic signals) uses a float and pulley system to obtain measurements, while a pressure sensor uses water pressure changes to get the data.  Typically, older recorders use encoders, and newer ones are outfitted with pressure sensors/transducers.

  2. The logger (or data logger) receives the data from the sensor and stores the measurements.  This is the main unit that controls the system.

  3. The transmitter receives data from the logger at scheduled intervals and transmits the information to a receiving site.  TWDB recorders use the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES satellite) system to relay data, although some groundwater conservation district (GCD) programs use cell phone networks.

  4. The antenna sends the signal to the GOES satellite.

  5. The power supply generally consists of an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery that is recharged with a solar panel.

  6. The shelter protects the recorder from weather, animals, and most human-caused damage.

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