The idea behind this project is to allow NYC residents to help reduce the amount of pollution in the harbor. Some 27 billion gallons of raw sewage is dumped into the harbor every year. This comes from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) that open when the sewer system is overloaded. The idea is to enable residents to understand when the overflows happen and reduce their wastewater production before and during an overflow event.
Inside a CSO regulator in Brooklyn. Photo: Steve Duncan undercity.org
Photos of the CSO target for this prototype:
The simple sensor that I am prototyping utilizes an arduino, a proximity sensor, and a cell phone. The idea is that the proximity sensor will measure the water level at the CSO and transmit this data, via the cell phone, to a database. This information will then be shared to the users of the system.
The data collected from this network of sensors will be availble to users on a website, alerts will be sent by SMS and a prototype of an in home visualization of the CSO status will be set up. Something similar to the Ambient Devices ambient orb.
A simple sketch for this device would include using a xbee network and arduino: