Chelsea Schneider, Innovations Content Manager, Aim
Zionsville is utilizing new technology to offer real-time information on weather conditions in the town.
The two weather monitoring stations by WeatherSTEM upload current weather data each minute of the day. And the information is publicly available, with a customizable notifications system that allows users to send tailored information directly to their phone and email.
The stations collect a comprehensive set of information including current weather conditions, archived weather conditions, radar and satellite and upcoming forecasts. What’s more, a lightning reader connected to the system can help determine whether or not a local event needs to be moved indoors for safety.
Within the town, community leaders use the data to help with planning and operations. The Wastewater Department uses the information gathered each day to plan for additional flow into the department’s system and eventually what will be processed at the treatment plant. This tool also helps the department with daily rainfall tracking, a requirement from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
“With treating water that is in pipes underground, any additional water especially from rainfall can make a big difference in the total amount of water that the treatment plant can handle,” said Barry Cook, superintendent of the town’s Wastewater Department. “It is helpful to see hourly rainfall, so I can better prepare the plant for increases in the flow from different parts of the collection system.”
Powered by a solar panel, WeatherSTEM stations have a variety of sensors including amounts and rate of rainfall, wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, ultraviolet radiation and solar radiation. The newly-installed stations have cloud cameras to document the sky conditions each day, and a video is produced at the end of the day showing a time lapse of the minute-by-minute view.
The data is available at http://boone.weatherstem.com. Additionally, the station sends out live updates and forecasts on Facebook (Zionsville Northwest, Wastewater Plant) and Twitter (Zionsville Northwest, Wastewater Plant). Data also is available through the WeatherSTEM app.