Adroit Environmental Monitoring is Helping CentrePort Plan for the Future

An Adroit installation at CentrePort Wellington is helping the port company automatically gather environmental data, and plan for the future.
Stormwater quality monitoring
Nimish Patel has been with CentrePort’s Infrastructure team as a Project Engineer for two and a half years now. He says that CentrePort is planning a large investment in its stormwater network in the coming years, a project closely aligned to CentrePort’s commitment for protecting and preserving the environment. He says CentrePort is passionate about improving harbour biodiversity and is currently working to restore the Kaiwharawhara stream, in partnership with local ecosanctuary Zealandia Te-Mara-a-Tane.
As part of our early design work for the stormwater upgrade, we are investigating how we might treat stormwater from the port entering the harbour. It can contain debris and other elements from our log yard, especially during heavy rainfall.
Nimish Patel

Project Engineer, CentrePort

CentrePort already has strong mitigations in place in the log yard, such as water trucks and sweeper trucks to stay on top of debris, and CentrePort’s stormwater consent encourages improving the stormwater infrastructure and water quality over time.
Stormwater quality monitoring system
One of the first questions we had for the project was ‘what is the quality of the stormwater’ at the moment? This is where Adroit has come in providing a digital solution.

Adroit is helping us remove the need to manually sample stormwater in two key areas during rain events and gathering data in a timely way. It was quite challenging for us to manually meet the criteria for sampling ‘first flush’ conditions. Safety means we must work around weather and operations, so an automated solution was exactly what we needed.

Nimish Patel

Project Engineer, CentrePort

Stormwater quality monitoring installation
Nimish says a digital solution allows CentrePort to sample 24/7, removing the need to enter operations on foot. It’s also helping the port understand the impact of a storm on stormwater quality. The Adroit installation at CentrePort includes a weather station, which precisely measures the amount of rainfall on the port. In addition, as well as an Aqua Troll 500 unit, which has sensors that measure turbidity, pH, water temperature, depth, conductivity, and salinity.

Sensors are powered by solar panels and data is uploaded to the Adroit Cloud Platform using the Spark Cat-M1 specialised IoT network. The installation is currently located in one of CentrePort’s log yard outfall pipes, where stormwater is discharged into the harbour.
The installation has now been in place for two months and Patel says it’s already working well.

“Both units are solar-powered, and they transmit the data over the Spark mobile network to us, so we can see data in real-time, which is great. I definitely check it often when it’s raining.”
He says the data is already providing some surprises.

Stormwater quality monitoring sensors
We had quite a few rain events in September, and we expected the turbidity (a measure of water clarity) to increase in the first hour or two of a storm, and then peter out afterwards. What we found was it didn’t really do that – turbidity was consistent throughout. What we did observe is that big jumps in rainfall intensity correlate with a greater increase in turbidity.
Nimish Patel

Project Engineer, CentrePort

Patel says that while the system can have alerts set to go off when certain parameters are met, he hasn’t set any at this stage, as the primary objective at this point is to get baseline data.

“If, from the data we are getting now, we can see that during a certain intensity of rainfall we’ll need greater levels of treatment, having those automated alerts will help us calibrate the stormwater treatment system we have in place in future,” he says.

Patel says he can see the potential for more sensors across CentrePort as the infrastructure is improved.

“The port is quite a large area with a lot of different stormwater catchments and outfall locations. To demonstrate to the Greater Wellington Regional Council that we are improving water quality, we need to be testing the upstream and downstream sides of where we install our treatment systems. This could mean we increase the number of monitors and sensors we have in future,” he says.

Learn more about Adroit water quality environmental monitoring