Stormwater Monitoring Devices & Systems with Dan Penczak, from OTT HydroMet

Stormwater World Episode 027: Stormwater Monitoring Devices & Systems with Dan Penczak from OTT HydroMet


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Key Points Discussed

[00:00:00] – Introduction and Overview of Stormwater Monitoring

  • Importance of monitoring water levels and predicting problems
  • Overview of the podcast and shout out to Digital Stormwater

[00:01:00] – Services offered by Digital Stormwater

  • Social media management, Google, LinkedIn, and Meta ads
  • SEO and content creation, website builds and updates, AI automations, consulting

[00:02:00] – Introducing Dan Penczak from Ott HydroMet

  • Dan’s background in water industries and monitoring applications
  • His role at Ott HydroMet and personal interests

[00:03:00] – Basics of Stormwater Monitoring

  • Reasons for monitoring stormwater
  • Relationship between weather and water monitoring

[00:04:00] – Specific Monitoring Devices and Their Functions

  • Examples of devices like InfoTracker and Pave Drain
  • How Ott HydroMet approaches monitoring and specific devices used

[00:07:00] – Use of Water Level Monitoring

  • Methods for measuring water level: pressure transducer, radar, bubbler
  • Importance of water level data for flood prediction and management

[00:10:00] – Data Collection Methods and Real-time Monitoring

  • Options for data collection: periodic retrieval, telemetry, cellular or satellite
  • Use of real-time data for immediate action and alerts

[00:12:00] – Urban Flood Warning and Critical Asset Protection

  • Applications of monitoring in urban flood warning systems
  • Importance of protecting critical infrastructure and downstream assets

[00:14:00] – Ideal Monitoring Station Components

  • Components of an ideal monitoring station: level sensor, data logger, weather sensors
  • Addition of cameras for visual confirmation and comprehensive monitoring

[00:15:00] – Continuous Monitoring for Water Quality

  • Importance of continuous monitoring for parameters like pH, turbidity, conductivity
  • Emerging contaminants like PFAS and the challenges in monitoring them

[00:17:00] – Tips for Effective Stormwater Monitoring Programs

  • Being intentional about monitoring goals and locations
  • Starting with critical areas and expanding as needed

[00:20:00] – Budget-friendly Monitoring Solutions

  • Affordability of monitoring solutions for municipalities
  • Options for short-term rentals and their use cases

[00:22:00] – Use Cases for Rental and Loaner Packages

  • Examples of rental scenarios: short-term projects, long-term studies
  • Benefits of renting equipment for specific needs

[00:23:00] – Training and Technical Support for Monitoring Devices

  • Availability of training and technical support for users
  • Intuitive design of devices for ease of use

[00:24:00] – Solar Radiation Monitoring and Other Weather Parameters

  • Monitoring solar radiation and its applications
  • Use of weather data in stormwater monitoring

[00:25:00] – Example of a Long-standing Flood Warning System in Texas

  • Example of a flood warning system in Harris County, Texas
  • Collaboration and evolution of the system over time

[00:26:00] – Contact Information for Dan Penczak and Additional Resources

  • Best ways to contact Dan Penczak for more information
  • Mention of Stormwater Professionals Group on LinkedIn for industry connections


Dan Penczak: “Data can be used to not only identify problem areas, but you could also start to try to predict when problems are going to occur.” [00:00:00]

Dan Penczak: “The majority of what we do is streams. We do a lot with the federal government and dams, monitoring critical assets.” [00:11:00]

Dan Penczak: “We are seeing more and more of what I’d call adaptive stormwater control and folks reaching out to us for sensors, data loggers, and programming.” [00:12:00]

Host: “If it were me, I’d have stuff all over the place if I was running a program. I’d want to know everything going on.” [00:18:00]

Dan Penczak: “While these solutions are pretty robust and scientific grade, they are made affordable to the average municipality that is strapped for budget.” [00:19:00]

In this episode of the Stormwater World Podcast, host Ty Garmon discusses the importance and applications of stormwater monitoring devices and systems with Dan Penczak from Ott HydroMet. Dan shares his extensive experience in water industries, focusing on the importance of monitoring stormwater control measures. He explains the various technologies used to monitor water levels and quality, their benefits, and how they can predict and mitigate flooding. Dan emphasizes the importance of data in identifying problem areas, ensuring compliance, and protecting critical assets. He also highlights Ott HydroMet’s range of monitoring solutions, from simple sensors to advanced real-time data collection systems, and underscores the affordability and practicality of these tools for municipalities.

The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.

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