One of the ways that slope stability in pit mines is monitored is by measuring the groundwater pressure inside and adjacent to the slope. Groundwater pressure is usually measured via a piezometer monitoring infrastructure that consists of multiple piezometers placed in strategic locations throughout the mine. This monitoring network may consist of one or more types of piezometer, the most common of which are:
- Standpipe Piezometers
- Pneumatic Piezometers
- Multi-point Piezometers
- Vibrating Wire Piezometers – the instrument of choice in many modern mines
Of course, for this piezometer monitoring network to really contribute to the overall safety of the pit mine, it is necessary that the data produced is gathered and interpreted on a regular basis. How often this data is collected has traditionally varied according to a number of factors, including:
- The location and spacing of piezometers inside and around the pit mine
- The rate at which mining is proceeding, or is scheduled to proceed, downwards
- Whether the mine is currently being actively mined
Irrespective of how often data is collected (daily, weekly or even monthly), gathering it is often a challenge for mine personnel. Some piezometers may be placed in locations where they are hard to access, and the sheer time and manpower requirement to read all of the piezometers in the mine may mean that they are not really read as often as they should be.
Fortunately, there is a simple technological solution to this problem – stop reading piezometer data manually and upgrade your infrastructure to include a wireless piezometer monitoring system that constantly collects data and makes it available in real time.
Ideally, this system should have the following attributes (and more):
- Minimal maintenance requirements
- Fast and easy to install
- Completely wireless (i.e. no requirement for a cable network that is costly, time-consuming to set up, and easy to damage)
- Powered by long life batteries (i.e. minimal maintenance and again no need for any cabling to supply power)
- Able to read all commonly used types of piezometers
- Easily accessible from mobile devices (smartphones/tablets), e.g. via an Android app
The Loadsensing LS-G6 wireless monitoring system fulfills all of these requirements and is the ideal solution for monitoring piezometers in an above-ground/surface context.