performance monitoring
and maintenance

Direct measurement of field performance for measuring performance of a cover system for reclaimed waste storage areas requires the acquisition of large volumes of data through the application of state-of-the-art technologies.

The is the best method for demonstrating to all stakeholders that the cover system will perform as designed. Okane data acquisition systems (DASs) are customizable and can be designed to monitor virtually any parameter of interest. For a full-scale cover system, a recommended minimum level of monitoring should include climatic conditions (for determination of potential evaporation rates), site-specific rainfall, cover material moisture storage changes, watershed or catchment area surface runoff, vegetation success, and erosion.

Okane data acquisition systems (DASs) are customizable and can be designed to monitor virtually any parameter of interest

Performance Monitoring System NS

A ‘watershed’ approach to monitoring is preferred in order to gain a better understanding of cover system performance under site-specific conditions. The rationale for utilizing a watershed approach is such that it allows for the complexity and challenges of cover system performance monitoring, which are apparent given the scale increase of a cover system from a point-scale (e.g. a test plot) to a macro-scale (e.g. a watershed).

Although most monitoring techniques used in point-scale cover system monitoring can be applied for macro-scale cover system monitoring, the extent of performance monitoring for a macro-scale cover system is much broader than that for a point-scale cover system. Performance monitoring and evaluation of a macro-scale cover system considers the temporal and spatial variability of the field measured datasets. The monitoring frequency (scale) for obtaining sufficient data, which is associated with spatial instrumentation and temporal data acquisition, must be understood in order to deploy a cost-effective monitoring system.

Okane has extensive experience in field performance monitoring to support mine closure planning studies. Our areas of expertise include:

  • meteorology,
  • actual evapotranspiration,
  • surface runoff,
  • interflow or lateral subsurface drainage,
  • soil conditions (temperature, water content, pore-water pressure),
  • distributed temperature sensing systems,
  • field permeability assessments,
  • net percolation (lysimeters),
  • rates and controls of geochemical reactions,
  • pore-gas chemistry and flux quantification,
  • pore-gas and water isotopes, and
  • tailings dewatering (solids content and shear strength development).

Okane possess over 20 years of experience in the installation of monitoring systems around the world, and are the industry leaders in detailed interpretation of site-specific data.

Cellular and satellite networks connected to web enabled DASs allow the remote acquisition of data in almost real time, allowing for a greater understanding of key process taking place in the field.

Data obtained from DASs are commonly used for:

  • evaluating the performance of cover systems;
  • waste rock dump and tailings facilities;
  • landfill monitoring;
  • gas monitoring;
  • meeting regulatory requirements for monitoring and demonstration of mine closure and reclamation;
  • groundwater dewatering projects;
  • surface and groundwater compliance monitoring;
  • calibrating and refining existing models for the development of long-term predictions;
  • improving mine closure and mine waste cover design methodology; and,
  • adding to the body of knowledge of unsaturated zone hydrology, geotechnical engineering, geochemistry, and climate modelling.
Okane Performance Monitoring on iPad

Data Management

Clients trust Okane to manage the large volumes of data generated from various environmental monitoring programs.

Data collection, review, quality control, and reporting are conducted on a routine basis. Okane has a centralised database for data storage, processing and reporting, improving efficiency while allowing clients web-based access to their data. The data management system is a browser-based, secure, geo-referenced data management software developed for the mining industry. Designed to manage laboratory and field data for water, soil, air, geology, and aquatics and for environmental compliance management and regulatory reporting, the system provides integrated data validation and quality control as well as a central repository for monitoring data. The Okane system has been designed to store and manage high-volume, high-frequency climate, soil, and environmental data recorded by datalogger equipment as well as field and laboratory data.

An application designed to manage Okane’s data logger data provides clients with rapid and secure access to data from automated monitoring systems, either as a stand-alone desktop application or through a web portal that provides an interface for client-specific data access. SharePoint portal integrates mapping capability and secure access to client data in emLine with a virtual library for organization and storage of project documents and site photographs in a web-based and easy-to-use secure portal configured to client specifications. Options for mapping capability include integration of customer data with the GeoServer map server, existing mapping services such as Bing Street View or Google Earth, or Visual Fusion advanced GIS mapping technology.

Distributors

Okane is authorized distributors for Campbell Scientific Inc. of Logan, UT, USA, Campbell Scientific Canada Corp. of Edmonton, AB, Canada, and Sentek Sensor Technologies of Adelaide, SA, Australia.

We are qualified to install all equipment supplied by these companies, as well as provide the necessary technical support following installation. Okane became distributors for these companies because of previous successful installations and a continuing desire to offer the optimum performance monitoring option to clients.

Campbell Scientific is recognized as a world-leading supplier of robust and versatile field performance monitoring systems. They manufacture and supply sensors to monitor meteorological conditions, surface water flow and quality, and in situ pressure (saturated-unsaturated), temperature, and moisture conditions. In addition, Campbell Scientific supplies a wide range of data acquisition equipment, such as remote power supply systems, dataloggers, multiplexers, and remote data collection peripherals, which are capable of operating in extreme climatic regimes.

Sentek exports approximately 70% of its products to markets in North America, South America, Europe and South Africa. Sentek’s products are used to monitor and manage water and its use and movement in a variety of market segments, which include agriculture, mining, turf, wastewater, and environmental applications. Sentek’s current product range includes the EnviroSCAN and the Diviner 2000 systems.

EnviroSCAN is a system that continuously monitors moisture in a waste or soil profile. The EnviroSCAN system consists of probes housed in access tubes that are installed into the profile. The probe can accommodate up to 16 sensors to provide moisture monitoring at multiple depths. The sensors continually monitor in situ moisture conditions and data is stored a datalogger. Data can be collected using radio telemetry, cellular communication, landlines, in-field laptop communication, or desktop office communication.

The Diviner 2000, which uses the same core technology as the EnviroSCAN, is a stand-alone portable, less expensive unit, comprising one sensor on a 1.6 m long shaft with an automatic depth sensor. The probe is inserted into pre-installed access tubes and provides an immediate profile of soil moisture as a function of depth. The probe is connected to a hand-held display unit, which gives the operator graphical displays of the data, as well as storage of multiple sets of readings. The display unit can be connected to a desktop or laptop computer to download the data.

Okane, thanks to financial support received from the Canadian Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), has developed the Deep Diviner, which uses the same technology and measurement principles as the Diviner 2000 system. The Deep Diviner can be lowered into a standard 2-inch piezometer / monitoring well to collect in situ moisture measurements in the vadose zone down to a depth of 60 m.

Holistic Mine Closure Planning Excavation
Holistic Mine Closure Planning On Site