Sensing the Trail

Levaware systems is offering IoT intelligence to create a new type of trailhead.

by Arwen Brenneman, Reliance Foundry Co. Ltd.

The 2000s saw the ‘internet of things’ became high-tech buzzword. Tech-savvy consumers started imagining the power they could have over their environment…the control of life’s little details from the easy reach of their phones! Yet while everything from keychains to toilet paper holders have become talkative in the IoT universe, the real revolution has often been less visible. IoT shines most in the management and analysis of large systems. Simple data, aggregated often, becomes a powerful tool. In the world of trail and park maintenance and upkeep, IoT systems offer myriad just-in-time benefits to managers and field teams.

What is Levaware?

Levaware systems are a set of specialized sensor technologies developed to monitor surface levels. They can be placed under bridges or docks, hidden inside bollards, on fences, in bins, and throughout sewer systems. They track, display, and analyze data about rising and falling surface levels in many environments. User-set conditions are watched for, and when those conditions are reached, Levaware sends alerts to coordinators or crews. Any place where cell phone access is possible can be monitored by Levaware.

Access to the Levaware system data is easily done from any internet connected device. Users log in to a main dashboard. At a glance, users can take a quick look at all sensors in the field.

From there, it’s possible to dive into each site. Current conditions and recent history can be displayed in a number of ways to best serve the site.

Examine the use of a waste bin and notice spikes in use requiring faster pick-up.

Examine the use of a waste bin and notice spikes in use requiring faster pick-up.

A range of problems can be addressed using the Levaware suite of data gathering and analysis. If there’s a changing surface level, Levaware is there to help. Currently Levaware is being used in waste, and water management, with snow-monitoring applications being developed for winter 2021.

Development and expansion of the line to suit specific site needs is ongoing.

Immediate emergency response

Levaware systems can be set up at river or ocean side, allowing crews to arrive before or during flood conditions. Alerts can be set to text and email people when surface levels rise above a tolerance. Alternatively (or in addition to), alerts can be sent if there’s a high rate of change.

Future Levaware releases will combine local weather data with current water levels to help with projection and pre-planning.

Protecting the community against hazards

Flood-out conditions can arise quickly. These often require swift response to close trail segments, especially near seawalls or riverbanks, to the public. Place Levaware sensors along areas where washout is likely, or where structural conditions are being monitored, to alert crews to rising waters creating public hazards.

A beehive grate sits beside some plants in a bioswale.

A beehive grate sits beside some plants in a bioswale.

Effective water management

Monitor run-off absorption in swales or rain gardens adjacent to hardscape. In many cases, swales and raingardens are installed but there are no measurements demonstrating their utility. Test for your region to evaluate how well water management systems, various soil strata, plant choices, or overall plot size are working.

In the opposite direction, Levaware can keep an eye on water levels in cisterns or irrigation tanks, alerting to potential shortfall. In rain harvesting systems, compare current rain-capture to historical data or other tanks to identify which cisterns may need maintenance to return to full capacity.

Efficient management of crews

Waste and recycling receptacles at far flung spots can suffer very variable use. If you don’t empty them when needed, they overflow. Sometimes, people simply place litter around them. Wildlife and habitat can be impacted by this waste, and at the very least, the trash becomes an eyesore.

To prevent overflow, maintenance crews often travel more often than necessary to empty bins.

With Levaware monitoring, the trash and recycling bins themselves can alert a team coordinator when they’re nearing capacity. Crews can be dispatched in the irregular intervals are necessary to keep things clean without resorting to hyper-vigilance that uses work time that would be better allocated to other projects.

Dispatch a team to empty bins before overflow even when there is an unexpected spike in usage.

Dispatch a team to empty bins before overflow even when there is an unexpected spike in usage.

A new way of watching the trail

The internet of things can provide convenience and reporting to consumers in their daily lives, but in large systems management it really shines. Intelligent monitoring can save time, money, and resources—and give you an immediate heads up if something unusual is happening in specific areas.

As this is a developing suite of products, we are always interested in new uses! If you have a problem this could help solve, please reach out and we’ll see what we can do.

Note: This post is a sponsored content article by Reliance Foundry. Contact [email protected] for your own sponsored content.

About the Author

Arwen works on content, copy, and communications for Reliance Foundry, located near Vancouver, Canada.

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