A novel low powered, 3G solution allowed Melbourne Water to remotely monitor critical underground assets. 



Remotely monitor retarding basins at an affordable cost


Internet of things (IoT) solution, low cost wide-area monitoring, cloud-based SCADA service, RTU-Dataloggers, feild sensor devices, wireless and secure communications.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Russell Riding, Automation Uplift Project Manager, Melbourne Water

"This low powered 3G solution allows Melbourne Water to operate at the leading edge of remote asset monitoring.”


Industry Challenge: Water authorities around the world face the same challenge: they must manage hundreds or thousands of underground water assets that are difficult to access and costly to monitor.

Critical above-ground assets such as plants, pump stations, tanks and reservoirs are commonly monitored, but below-ground assets like man holes and pipelines have been literally left ‘in the dark’, due to accessibility, technology and costs involved.

Client Challenge: Melbourne Water wanted to monitor the man holes and water levels at more than 200 retarding basins throughout greater Melbourne. A retarding basin is an area of land used for stormwater to drain into during high rainfall events.

Monitoring of these sites would allow Melbourne Water to better-manage storm water flows by receiving live alerts of potential overflows and warning residents of potential flooding events.

Underground monitoring for utilities with IoT



SAGE Automation delivered a low cost, maintainable solution for monitoring 38 of Melbourne Water’s most critical retarding basins.

The solution incorporated ‘RTU-Dataloggers’*, field sensor devices and SAGE’s cloud-based SCADA service ‘STRATUS’ for interim alarming and visualisation.Field works were managed by ALS Global and supported by SAGE.

Solution challenges: connected devices and SCADA

The logistics of finding and implementing the solution were complex: the field devices had to be non-powered and non-solar, a problem easily solved by fitting the RTU-Datalogger with an external battery for 3–5 years of power.

RTU Datalogger solution for underground monitoring

In addition, the solution required secure wireless communications that connected to the client’s SCADA system.

“We found that additional IT infrastructure was required to allow this,” SAGE Automation Senior Project Manager Stephen Coward said.

“We had to bridge the gap with an interim solution, which was SAGE’s cloud-based SCADA service called ‘STRATUS’,” he said.

This allowed Melbourne Water to take the time to develop their end solution and install the appropriate IT infrastructure.


Melbourne Water’s Automation Uplift Project Manager Russell Riding said the solution was ideal.

“STRATUS allowed us to achieve the remote monitoring required while we develop and install secure IT systems to support the end solution,” Mr Riding said.

“The way SAGE tackled our requirements and current gap was very professional. They understood our issues and found the best low cost solution while continuing to support our current and near-future needs,” he said


Melbourne Water is monitoring below-ground assets with affordable implementation and maintenance costs.

In particular, Melbourne Water:

  • Is transitioning from zero monitoring to monitoring of 38 retarding basins
  • Is doing low cost, wide-area site monitoring for below ground assets
  • Can prevent and react to spilling and flooding events with real-time alarming
  • Has access to 15,000 data points and 3 WebEx clients through STRATUS

RTU Datalogger solution uses Cloud-based SCADA for remote monitoring


Nukon is joint venture between the world of optimisation and automation. our parent company, SAGE Automation, is a leader in the operations market, while NUKON has fast established an outstanding reputation in the manufacturing data, intelligence andimprovement area.

This meeting of minds means we can now bridge the gaps between the different silos within our client businesses, bringing visibility, unity and breakthrough improvements right across our clients' businesses.

*RTU Datalogger Solution

The ‘RTU-Datalogger’ solution is SAGE Automation’s answer to the water industry’s unique challenge. It blends the best of RTU and a Datalogger functionalities to offer utilities a low cost, low powered remote monitoring solution.

Low Power

RTUs configured to sleep when not in use, battery only, solar or hydro powered options.

Low cost 

Affordable communication with data-only sim plans; configured for low power usage and installed in maintainable locations.

IoT Solution

RTU-Dataloggers collect sensor data, pass on to SCADA and cloud-based systems through Telemetry or FTP protocols, via current wireless secure internet connection.

Safe and accessible 

IP68 rating intrinsically safe for hazardous locations. Install anywhere using power type pillars, bollards, or dedicated underground pits. 


For more information on our low cost monitoring solutions, contact us via the form below.

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