Tag Archives: gauge

Big it up for the OPW

I’ve just been reading some particularly nitwitted Dáil discussions and I need some time to calm down enough to report on them to the Learned Readers of this site. Let me just say that anyone who thinks that politicians cannot distinguish fact from fiction is absolutely right. But enough of that for the moment.

I reported earlier on an oddity in the results from the OPW’s Athlone waterlevel gauge. I emailed the OPW about it and a helpful chap got back on more or less immediately.

He explained that the data we see on the waterlevel.ie site is, as it were, live: raw unfiltered data with nothing added, nothing taken away. The same data goes in to the OPW and they spotted that the Athlone gauge was reading too high. They found the sensor was faulty; they have now adjusted it and the new, lower readings are correct.

The disappearance of the placenames is because of some work in progress on improving the website; they will be back.

He kindly pointed me to a list, in .xlsm format, downloadable from here; it shows all hydrometric stations in Ireland. It shows who operates them, whether they’re active and whether they use telemetry (which I take to mean that they can be monitored remotely). Unfortunately OPW itself doesn’t seem to have any gauges on Lough Derg and nor does Waterways Ireland. OPW does have a rather excitable gauge at Scarriff and gauges upstream of Meelick Weir and Meelick (Victoria) Lock. The ESB has gauges with telemetry at Ballyvalley (25073) and Killaloe (25074) but I can’t find any website giving the levels. If, Gentle Reader, you can find one, perhaps you would let us know.

The consoling part of dealing with the OPW is that you get the distinct impression that they know some useful stuff. Unlike, say, some folk working in Kildare Street ….

Thump it on the thirteenth

Here is a screenshot from the OPW’s online waterlevel gauge for Athlone Weir. It shows the levels for the past 35 days. In recent days the waterlevel website has ceased to show the names or locations of the gauges, but 26333 is Athlone Weir.

Athlone waterlevel: 35 days to 14 February 2014

Athlone waterlevel: 35 days to 14 February 2014

Note the odd discontinuities: the level jumped up on 13 February and fell back on 13 February. Does the gauge get stuck every so often and have to be thumped to free it?

I do not know. I have reported both the discontinuities and the disappearance of the station names to the OPW.