Supply and installation of instrumentation for water quality, flow and rainfall in the Highlands of Scotland


RS Hydro was asked to tender for the supply and installation of monitor instrumentation for water quality, flow and rainfall within a number of water bodies in the Highlands of Scotland. The application was linked to the transport network and Transports for Scotland's widening of the A9 haul road between Perth and Inverness. The work incorporated within this case study was within the A9, Glen Garry to Crubenmore section. Due to the widening of the A9, there is some concern that both an increase in traffic pollution and increases in salt spreading due to more carriageways there's a possible negative effect of surrounding water bodies. Therefore baseline data was required for the following: EC/pH/temperature/water level as well as flow rates and rainfall amounts. Monitoring was to be for a period of twelve months and has been achieved with in-situ monitoring devices.


Transportation - Transport for Scotland/Government

Equipment Used

Eureka M+20 multi-parameter water quality sondes with pressure, temperature, conductivity and pH sensors as well as Integrated battery packs for continuous logging. The ISCO 2150 area velocity flow module and the Adcon RG1 rain gauge and Solinst Rainlogger.


Following the successful award of the contract for instrument and installation with in late 2016 RS Hydro started work onsite in early 2017.

The main scope of the contract was to install 2 No. surface water flow monitors and 8 No. EC/pH/temperature/water level sensors in selected watercourse locations, 4 No. EC/pH/temperature/water level sensors in selected borehole locations and 2 No. rain gauges. The installation of the borehole sensors was straightforward as the borehole had been drilled and lined by the experienced drillers. The installation and indeed precise location of the flow meters, rain gauges, and watercourse sondes was the responsibility of RS Hydro Ltd (RSH).

Therefore prior to attending site, a dedicated Engineer was tasked with designing and building initiative solutions to house instrumentation in some of the harshest environments in the British Isles. Following a site survey by RSH, images and site note were handed over to the Engineering department, from these bespoke stilling wells and frame were constructed to secure the instruments to the river bank, bridges, and culverts. Once onsite a team of three Engineers configured the Manta M+20 sondes and installed them into their bespoke stilling wells and secured in their predefined monitoring locations. Data was configured to log every 15 minutes to be downloaded by the client's engineers while onsite once every 4 weeks. The ISCO 2150 meters were installed in the two flow monitoring locations, stainless steel plate being used to secure the 2150 doppler sensors to the watercourse bed.

The RG1 rain gauges and Rainlogger were installed to two structures within the monitoring section so as to reflect the localized rain events.

Calibration of the Manta M+ sonde is being carried out by the client periodically, with the aid of the Manta controlee software.

General Product Information

The 2150's "smart" area velocity probe is built on digital electronics, so the analog level is digitized in the sensor itself to overcome electromagnetic interference. The probe is also factory-calibrated for 10-foot (3 meters) span at different temperatures. This built-in calibration eliminates drift in the level signal, providing the long-term level stability that reduces recalibration frequency and completely eliminates span recalibration. The M+ water quality sonde range offers a scalable solution for both in-situ water quality monitoring and well as spot profiling. From a single parameter and temperature within the Trimeter to a sonde capable of holding 15 different parameters. An RG1 rain gauge is both robust and accurate. It is available with a resolution of 0,1mm and 0,2mm and orifices of 200cm2 and 400cm2, making it compliant with all WMO guidelines. Complimenting the RG1 rain gauge is the Solinst Rainlogger, designed to count the tips of a standard tipping-bucket rain gauge with a reed switch output. Compact and waterproof, this durable field unit offers long-term reliability with a battery that lasts up to 10 years.