Ash pond water level


Thread Starter


we are trying to measure the level of an ash pond. this is in a very remote location and we have no available power source close by and need to send the signal about three hundred yards. we can use wireless but no power source at the ash pond. any suggestions?


A linear potentiometer connected to a float would be one option, another would be a float/weight combination connected to a multiturn potentiometer if you need continuous level measurement. These are readily available through environmental monitoring supply companies, or you can 'roll your own' design.

Discrete level (ie. 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 inch) measurements could be done with available reedswitch/magnet sensor products, but resolution is limited to measurement intevals.


Bob Peterson

Have you considered a solar recharging station? A fuel cell? How about batteries that you periodically replace? The cost of running power out to the pond could end up being relatively inexpensive long term, depending on just how much power you need.

Bob Peterson

Richard Wargo

Yes, contact your local or state Dept. of Transportation and ask them what they use for solar powered signs, etc. Also, PLC vendors that deal with SCADA may be of help; contact your local Allen-Bradley or Emerson Controls rep.

Curt Wuollet

Depending on the solubles in the water, you might be able to power a remote transponder just by dropping electrodes in the pond :^)




You might consider the battery powered wireless measurement sensors on the market. For example, you can use a sealed hydrostatic sensor on a submergable cable or a non contacting ultrasonic sensor connected to a wireless communications package from Endress+Hauser

Craig McIntyre
Hi Brian,

The best option for this is to employ a combination solar power and battery power. There are packages with the solar panels, chargers and batteries that can run level transmitters on low voltage. The transmitters then can send level signals a good distance covering your need. Typically this avoids battery replacement/recharging for up to years depending on climate. Feel free to to look at for more on this and contact us with your thoughts.

Bob Langie
MJK North America Inc.
[email protected]
This is a common scada package:

Power Package
You will need a solar cell charger, regulation circuitry and batteries to provide power for a wireless modem, plc, level sensor at 12vdc.

Remote wireless modem operating at 12vdc
Local wireless modem

remote wireless modem with digital IO built in
or you can get a little plc like DL05

Select a level sensor with 12vdc operation

Connect hmi to wireless modem
connect another dl05 plc and use it to drive
lights, alarms, pumps or valves

Robert Twigg

You can easily control the pond without any electricity to a level detector. the only requirement is for a tank at the well which is higher then the desired level of the pond. Make a cylindrical float container with holes in it. Inside this cylinder place a valve controlled by a float. When the pond level decreases to a desired refill level the float will open a valve draining the main tank at the well. when the tank level falls the pump will activate a refill of the tank. The pond will quit filling and draining the tank when it reaches the desired level. I make these all the time. Of coarse, I have a high pressure water line and the pond I fill is relatively small.