A Powelectrics IIoT Solution Is Helping Alert Local Communities to Flood Risk in Ogun State, Nigeria

Posted on 16 Mar 2021

SpatialMatrix are specialists in Geographic Information Systems and strategic application of technology to solve business problems. Following the mantra ‘Your business is only as good as the quality of data that can be leveraged’, they are trusted partners to Government and corporate customers in Nigeria and the West African sub region. SpatialMatrix recommends, installs and supports Metron products in Nigeria and West Africa. More here.

The Oyan Dam is one of the tributaries of Ogun River, which supplies raw water to Lagos and Ogun state capital, Abeokuta. The Dam is managed and authorities can open valves to release excess water downstream, if levels rise beyond capacity.

Unfortunately, this is most likely to occur during the rainy season, when the river is already full. As a consequence, there have been two occasions in recent years when water was released in large quantities from the Dam at a time when the river could not accommodate any more water.

Water backed up local community drainage channels and eventually overflowed the drainage network, leading to extensive flooding of homes, businesses and farms.

The short-term consequences were emergency evacuation to save lives. In the longer term, crops and livelihoods were lost and communities had to be rebuilt.

Those communities needed an early warning flood alert system. One of the Ogun State Property & Investment Corporation (OPIC) Estate communities, that was badly affected, approached SpatialMatrix to propose a solution.

The SpatialMatrix solution involves remote monitoring of levels in local community drains.

Powelectrics Metron telemetry hardware is used with our SPS hydrostatic pressure sensor. The system is solar-powered and completely independent of local external power. Level data is reported every 10 minutes to Powelectrics MetronView cloud.

For the pilot, the monitoring solution was located on a major drain, serving a number of local streets and connecting to the main drain, which empties to Ogun River 1km away. Initially levels were viewed via Powelectrics MetronView cloud, on any web-connected device.

MetronView allows for unlimited high-level alarms to be established, based on historical level data and for alerts to be generated to unlimited authorised recipients, allowing for seasonal changes in ‘normal’ level to be accommodated.

Such alerts can also be based on rate of change, so that communities know if levels are rising very quickly in a short period of time.

Alerts can also be sent in the event of a failure in communications, indicating that the IoT kit may be damaged or there is a problem with the local signal.

Drains are often open. They can be blocked due to solid matter, such as construction materials and even new, unauthorised constructions blocking their route. Locals can see if the levels are rising in this instance too and the blockage can be identified and removed.

Since installation, the kit has delivered reliable level data and blockages have been removed. Fortunately, in this time, there has been no need to use the data to initiate an evacuation.

Should such an event be necessary, due to a rapid release of water from the Dam, the data collected can be shared with Dam authorities to establish new management procedures that would allow slower release, perhaps from an earlier point in time, as levels rise, giving more time for water to flow further down the river, rather than flooding surrounding areas.

The next phase will be to use the data collected to set up the alerts and then to install a flood gate to prevent water backing up the drainage network. This will involve Metron to Metron communication via MetronView with relay outputs to control flood gate activity automatically if water levels are too high, based on user-defined thresholds.

Tobi Sowole, SpatialMatrix CTO explained, “Metron monitoring kit offers a robust and reliable solution to remote monitoring. The adoption of Metron has removed the cost of employing staff to monitor and is safer too! The kit is hardy, easy to set-up, and the quality of the tech support is 5 star! The residential community is pleased with the early warning system and eager to introduce more automation.”

Metron4 can use external power or be battery or solar powered for use in remote and rural locations. Metron4 telemetry hardware supports 2G & 4G, offers operational temperatures - 25 to +65°C for global deployment and comes in an IP67 enclosure.

MetronView is a secure, scalable, intuitive and customisable cloud delivering sensor data & alerts on any web-enabled device. It also offers a common API to allow data to be drawn into other platforms.

Powelectrics offer 30 years’ experience in sensing and remote monitoring.

Our ’connected sensor’ solutions are employed in many industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, Adblue, fuels, oils, LPG, lubricants, food and beverage, waste & recycling, landfill & leachate, agriculture, utilities, pumping and environment, rail and security.

For further information or to discuss your application, please call us on +44 (0)1827 310 666, use this contact form or send us an email - sales@powelectrics.co.uk 

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