The Stormwater Blog 

Contech Stormwater experts discuss designing stormwater BMP’s, regulations, maintenance issues, and all things stormwater.

Did My Rainwater Harvesting System Just Text Me?

As rainwater harvesting is becoming a more popular choice for stormwater management and runoff reduction, additional features are becoming available to allow for monitoring, report generation, and managing systems from a website interface.

Just like many stormwater treatment systems, sometimes rainwater harvesting systems are forgotten about because they are “out of site and out of mind,” but connecting your system to a website interface and having alerts directed to your phone or email keeps the system visible to owners and maintenance personnel. This ensures that the system continues to operate as intended and any issues are resolved quickly.

There are many benefits to adding remote monitoring to your rainwater harvesting system including:

  • Reduce downtime – get email or text alerts when there is an issue with the system that needs attention such as a pump failure
  • Water level alerts – is your tank almost empty?
  • Historical data graphs – find out how much money you are saving on potable water
  • Total system management - Manage data from one or many properties via a website
  • Learning opportunity – schools, commercial buildings, or residential communities can showcase their rainwater harvesting system

Remote monitoring can also tell you the system flow rate and pressure in real time which allows you to quickly see how much rainwater you have used and how much potable water you have saved. This can also be a great tool for LID and LEED reporting. The ability to review long-term performance of the system can also help with diagnosing any system issues. Web access to the system also provides the owner or designated maintenance personnel with the ability to remotely start or stop the system, which allows full control if something unforeseen were to occur onsite.

Remote monitoring allows full visibility and management of your rainwater harvesting investment.

Author Biography

Kathryn is a Senior Design Engineer with Contech Engineered Solutions and currently specializes in rainwater harvesting, stormwater treatment and detention design.

Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University and has nine years of engineering experience in stormwater design. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Oregon. Kathryn can be contacted at




Post Rating


# Gerhard Panuschka
Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:05 PM
Great article, Kathryn.
I was wondering what kind of remote monitoring and control systems (SCADA) there are and how they work, what kind of devices do they require (phone service, for example). Also, who installs it and is there on-going maintenance for the control system, and who can take care of such a system?
# Kathryn Thomason
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 4:30 PM
Typically the remote monitoring system is accessible from any web-enabled device and special software is not required. It is typically connected to the web either with an Ethernet cable or by cellular modem. I would not anticipate maintenance for the control system, but overall maintenance for the rainwater harvesting system including checking the pump, monitoring sediment levels in the cistern, cleaning any pretreatment and filter devices, inspecting level sensors to make sure they are free of sediment, etc. is needed. Typically this maintenance can be performed by a company that specializes in pump systems.

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