Large Scale Water Level Indicator

Hey everyone, I hope im posting this in the right spot.  I run a large farming operation and get my water from a well that pumps into a large storage tank about 10 feet deep and 6ft diameter.   Because the well is very old I'm not able to add things like a float that will turn it on or off for me so I'm constantly having to check the well though out the day and if the cows are more thirsty one day they can drink the storage tank dry and that causes me problems with my pump, or if i leave it to long it will overflow and it makes a terrible mess.

So im wondering if there is a way that I can wire up a water level indicator in the well-house and have a light board in my house that shows me the level of the well.  So for a 10 ft deep well id have an led light for every 1ft or so and when the water level gets to the top foot a buzzer would go off and when it hits the bottom foot or 2 ft then a buzzer would go off.  Ideally a wireless transmitting to the house would be best but I have no idea how that could work.  And wired would be hard with the well house being a few hundred feet away from my house.  I've done a lot of googling and haven't found anything that would suite a large scale water tank like this.  I purely want to be able to see in my house where the water level is and have it warn me when its too high or too low.  I apologize since i don't have a lot of experience in electronics.  Any help is greatly appreciated as i have no idea where to start or if its even possible.  Thanks guys!

A good place to see about the ultrasonic sensors is on http://www.maxbotix.comThey do outdoor ones that will do 10m distance etc. Under performance data on the site they have a tank test set up.

I have done some work on using the radios(XRF) already mentioned and a maxbotix sensor for measuring an oil tank. I went pretty simple and just read the analog value from the sensor and send it back to a Raspberry Pi (with radio), this can in turn be turned into a distance value. Loads of options as far as what you can do with the readings. You could get it to control the pump for you?

Power for the sensor is something to consider, as i went simple i have about 3ma constant draw and thus a standard battery wont last long. If i was better at electronics i could get the sensor to power off and only power up when i want to transmit a reading. For the time being i use a d cell lithium battery which should give me over half a year of readings at 5 minute intervals.

Chris

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rpfarm25 (author) 3 years ago

Awesome thanks, and sorry in the water tank itself, i'll still have to go and plug it in and unplug it, but with this winter being -40 Celsius, the fewer times I have to suit up and go check the better. Ive seen the untracsonic mudules on youtube but just in small buckets and wasnt sure if they would be practical on a 10 ft deep tank, Ill definitly look into them again, thanks!

Jayefuu3 years ago

You want a level sensor in the tank or in the well? Your description isn't clear on that.

If you want to monitor the water level in the tank and transmit it to your house then perhaps an XRF (£11) with ultrasonic module (~£5) might be appropriate.

I looked on the XRF website (openmicros.org) and found a thread that said they were releasing a ranging sensor in January 2014, so you could ask there if it's ready yet. I'll send an email to Miles, the owner of the site and point him here in case he wants to add any more details.

http://openmicros.org/index.php/component/kunena/2-microcontrollers/220-ultrasonic-water-level-monitoring?Itemid=0

Good luck! And keep us updated, it sounds like an interesting project.

James