CREATE pilots Waterbot with Loyalhanna Watershed Association!

WaterBot is a citizen scientist project that prototypes a low-cost, easy and mobile method to monitor small streams.  The water-sensing bot measures temperature and conductivity as indirect measurements of Total Dissolved Solids, indicating changes in water quality.  The data is transmitted from the bot and automatically uploaded to in real-time with the goal of empowering communities, educators and kids to monitor and log the effects of industry and pollution on their watershed systems.

On Thursday October 27th, CREATE visited the Loyalhanna Watershed Association in Ligonier, PA, the first to pilot and test Waterbot in a project monitoring the effects of Marcellus Shale Drilling on the streams, lakes and rivers.  The LWA will compare the data with other data loggers that they have been using and posting on their site:  
Josh Penatzer and LWA share their expertise in placing sensors and best practices for installing sensors to avoid damage from wind, ice and animals.  The CREATE Lab is excited to use these methods in the future to share cheap water monitoring technology.  A huge thanks to Josh and the Loyalhanna Watershed Association for all their work!
  Look for more information about Waterbot pilot programs and availability in the future.

A T-post installed in the stream bed is a stable way to install a water-sensor.  The post is tether to a tree or other object with a coated steel cable.  The sensor extends from the bot, wrapped in plastic to shield it from the elements, into the stream where it gathers temperature and conductivity data.

Josh of the LWA demonstrates methods for gathering data from sensors in streams with Max.  Right, the Waterbot sensor is weighed down and suspended in the water. 

The CREATE team with Josh's sensor post - Jessica P., Max and Dror!

By Jessica P. for CREATE Lab