Monitoring louisiana’s levees


Courtesy of The OTT Hydromet Group

  • The natural disaster in New Orleans was exacerbated by the fact that the city’s levees broke
  • Two towns SE of New Orleans, Braithwaite and Scarsdale, depend on levees which were also damaged by Hurricane Katrina
  • Levees have been repaired to meet minimum protection requirements, and additional strengthening work continues
  • Redirect water from behind the levees at a rate of 7,500 cfs for up to 20 days during certain portions of the year


  • Near real-time monitoring of water levels at the repaired breaches is required to assess the quality of the repairs
  • Information needed when water levels exceed triggers, then water can be discharged to safer areas
  • ENCOS, a long time OTT / HACH Environmental customer, was contracted by CSRS engineers to provide monitoring systems
  • ENCOS was faced with strict deadlines to have the monitoring platforms installed

Monitoring Solution

  • OTT / HACH Environmental provide ENCOS with the OTT Orpheus Mini & ITC solution
  • Orpheus Mini is a pressure/temperature sensor with integrated logging capabilities designed to be placed in a well
  • ITC is a GSM-based remote communications device that allows Orpheus Mini data to be accessed from the users’ office

The Advantages

  • The compact design of the OTT solution allows ENCOS tremendous flexibility for deploying the level sensor and communications system
  • Key advantage is that all data retrieval and maintenance can be performed at the top of the well without removing the sensor
  • Key advantage is compactness and simplicity of the system
  • Remote data transfer with alarming features


  • Because of the service provided, the site was operational in time, and could result in additional opportunities around the city
  • Monitoring stations have been operational since April 26, 2006, and data transfer has been operational since May 19, 2006
  • The compact OTT solution allows tremendous flexibility for deploying the level sensor and communications system

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