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Collecting Storm Water Data for The City of Delray Beach, Florida

| Fred Deibel

Second Sight Systems

Challenge / Scope of Work:

The city of Delray Beach, like many coastal cities, has experienced extreme coastal flooding over the past several years. The average king tide height has risen roughly two feet per year, and seawater has begun to infiltrate drainage pipes in low-lying areas. With seawater seeping through storm manhole covers, Delray Beach residents have suffered significant damage to neighborhood roads and the municipal storm water drainage system. Flood waters have also begun to lap up to the doors of homes and businesses in low-lying areas.

The city’s Storm Water Division decided to start collecting data to help decision-makers in the city work towards potential solutions to the flooding problem. The Division needed a system to remotely collect tidal data from the Intracoastal Waterway near the island’s lowest lying areas where flooding was the worst. This approach required a reliable and accurate method of data acquisition alongside a secure wireless transmission solution so that technicians could get relevant data without visiting affected areas.

The data would be used to help the Storm Water Division engineers to interpret and present data to residents and officials who would make decisions on policy related to flood prevention and damage control.


With Second Sight Systems’ industry-leading experience in telemetry and technical field services for municipalities, we could immediately offer a solution to help the city of Delray Beach collect the data it needed to enact real policy solutions. Our services included on-site data acquisition, coordinating geodetic surveys, on-site installation, development of a web-based application, remote monitoring, and technical support.

First, Second Sight designed, installed, and maintained an industrially-hardened GE MDS™ 4GLTE wireless communication system, including sensor arrays, to facilitate data collection and transfer from flood sites in low-lying areas back to engineers further inland. This way, tidal data could be gathered from the affected areas accurately and in real time.  Second Sight linked the remote sensors to a cloud-based virtual Open Platform Communication server through a Virtual Private Network to maintain data integrity and security.

Second Sight developed a custom web-based application for City engineers to access the tidal data 24×7. This software allowed engineers to visualize the data using charts and graphs that reflected trends in sea levels and tide fluctuations in five-minute intervals, all from Storm Water Division headquarters, for the most up-to-date information available.


The City of Delray Beach is now collecting tidal data over a reliable, secure, and efficient network. Information gathered through Second System technology informs City Engineers of changes in tide elevation in order to develop counter measures to reduce flooding during high tide events.  The custom application also provides the Storm Water Division with a real-time data solution that keeps the department at the forefront of sea level changes in the area. Not only do the Storm Water Division Engineers now have access to the most recent changes in sea level available, but they can also track trends evident in historical data that reflect day-to-day changes and extreme flooding events.

About Us:

Second Sight Systems has been providing municipality and utility field services since 1999 and has engineers on staff with extensive experience with SCADA communications and telemetry applications for remote monitoring.  Our track record of completing projects on schedule and at the highest service level can’t be matched.


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