Mine site operation and closure is contingent on a large amount of environmental monitoring to ensure regulatory compliance and minimise the overall human impact on surrounding areas/ecosystems. In this particular example, Remote Surface Water Monitoring was contracted to EWS Australia for the extent of closure operations (5 years) and long-term (10 years) into the overall maintenance phase following the mines successful closure.
Surface Water Monitoring included installation & continued operation of 16+ critical locations surrounding the mine site and connected to natural tributaries and sensitive natural environments in the remote NWR of Western Australia (WA). The following parameters required accurate, traceable, telemetered data collection and storage on a suitable web-based dashboard able to assimilate with internal customer databases:
Given the remote aspect of the surface water monitoring locations satellite telemetry was required to ensure real-time data visibility and operations. Additional factors to be considered were the location sensitivities (lowest environmental impact) and ephemeral/flashy nature of streamflow’s, e.g. dry for large periods of the year.
The Australian made and Iridium certified EWS Switch was utilised along with Acoustic Doppler Velocity Meters (ADVM’s) and purpose-built Water Quality Sensors. Water Quality sensors could withstand extensive periods ‘out of water’ with minimal calibration requirements and interfaced with the EWS Switch + Orion iO dashboard (Microsoft Azure secure) provided real-time, fit for purpose environmental monitoring data for mine site staff.
Orion iO not only provided a facility to display, store and transfer data securely to customers (FTP, MQTT, etc) but also allowed data validation and quality assurance processes to be implemented. Data calibrations, adjustment, quality coding/commenting ensures environmental monitoring data (and associated metadata) is accurate and to required, and specified standards.
As this Surface Water Monitoring project continues mine site staff are seeing benefits in the real-time, high frequency (3 hourly transmit) data installed with very low overall environmental impact. Telemetered data visible via the Orion iO dashboard is being utilised for both operational purposes (trigger alarms for dam overflows and Water Quality thresholds initiate operator samples) and regulatory reporting through validated, quality assured data and Paginated Reports.
EWS Australia comprises certified industry professionals with experience in a multitude of different environmental disciplines, e.g. hydrologists, hydrographers, geotechnical engineers. Traceable, validated environmental monitoring data including quarterly on-site verifications (flow measurements, water quality checks/calibrations, etc) helps to align projects with required regulatory standards such as the “Nation Industry Guidelines for Hydrometric Monitoring” (BoM, WaMSTeC) and “AS3778 - Measurement of Water Flow in Open Channels”.
This coupled with 24/7 customer support, an easy-to-use datalogger product (EWS Switch) with associated mobile-app (SwitchComm) ensure environmental monitoring data for this project continues to be high quality, fit for purpose and relevant for mine site operations. Production is also WA-centric meaning supply shortages or recent have not had an impact on the project or its subsequent success.
The Sydney Gateway starts at the St Peters Interchange, the junction of the M8 Motorway and M4–M5 Link, all of which are being built as part of WestConnex.
This large tunnelling project is located near the Blue Mountains Region of NSW. When completed, the $2.5Billion project will be Australia’s longest road tunnel at 11kms long and will form the main road corridor between Central Western NSW and the Sydney Region.
EWS Australia specialise in the manufacture of vibrating wire satellite telemetry and geotechnical monitoring for remote environmental monitoring applications and design bespoke solutions to suit your needs.