At YSI we know that collecting water quality data can be challenging. We spoke to several of our customers, and together, we have identified the top 5 challenges that one may face when collecting water quality data. Over the course of the next couple weeks, we will be addressing each of these challenges head on. With the expertise of our very own product manager’s and technical support team, we will share how to deal with and avoid these typical frustrations and how new industry technology can help tackle these big issues. Don’t worry, you are not alone, we want to help.
Anyone interested in the monitoring of natural aquatic environments, such as rivers, lakes, wetlands, oceans, estuaries, and groundwater should keep reading.
Ongoing Repair & Maintenance Costs Eat Up My Budget. Why Can’t Field Instruments Last Longer?
Collecting water quality data can be expensive. Maintaining and repairing equipment costs can rack up quickly over time.
Aging instruments face a number of issues. Some of the common ones are stainless corrosion, bent or broken pins, wiper failure and/or faulty cables.
So what are we doing to address some of these issues?
- Improved wet-mate connectors and cables. YSI products, such as EXO, use wet-mate connectors and cables. Wet-mate connectors and cables have been used for a long time in harsher oceanographic applications, but now can be found as an out of the box feature on a lot of standard water quality instruments. The obvious benefit to these types of connectors/cables is that they are impervious to moisture while you are connecting them, but additional benefits are advancements in integral strain relief and Kevlar materials. What does this mean? It means, the cables are now stronger and can hold more weight, while the integrated strain relief takes additional pressure off the wet-mate connector – ultimately giving you a much more durable and rugged cable.
- Advancements in material science. Advancements in material sciences has led to many manufacturers moving away from PVC and stainless steel sensors due to the challenges in the operating environment. New materials that hold up really well in applications such as salt water, for example, polymers or titanium, are being introduced as a new sensor technology because they really increase the durability of the overall sensor as well as address some of the flooding issues that can occur with sensors.
- Keeping your sensors clean. For years, various manufacturers have been experimenting with different ways to keep sensors clean. Stepped bulk-heads or central wiper systems have been used to help minimize biofouling. Over the past decade various technologies have been introduced into the industry to help reduce biofouling. Technologies such as copper based materials, pump or flow thru systems, chemical injunctions, shutter systems and wipers. The longer you can keep something clean, the less you have to maintain it. The less you have to maintain, the less you have to spend to maintain it.
- Factory Preventative Service Program. Make sure your manufacturer offers this. A Factory Preventative Service Program will help you reduce your overall repair costs. Often you can purchase 5 years of preventative service up front and then build that into the capital cost of the equipment, helping you regulate your repair costs going forward. Some programs may also include things like a replacement pH membrane or a dissolved oxygen cap on an annual basis. Be sure to inquire with your manufacturer exactly what their program includes. Click here to review the YSI Sonde Maintenance Program.
Read Challenge #2 – Uncertainty with future project requirements and aging monitoring equipment.
Additional Blog Posts of Interest:
Water Quality Monitoring Challenges | 2 of 5
Water Quality Monitoring Challenges | 3 of 5
5 Tips To Prevent Costly Mistakes With Your Sondes | Tip 4 of 5 | Improper Handling & Storage
Expert Tips for Continuous Water Quality Monitoring | YSI, Aquatic Informatics and Pennsylvania DEP