U.S. Geological Survey installs sensor on Chocolay River

HARVEY — If you’ve driven through a residential section of Harvey in the last few days, you may have noticed that it looks a little bit different.

The U.S. Geological Survey has installed a solar-powered stream sensor on the Chocolay River. The sensor is just off of the Green Bay Street Bridge. It could help predict future floods on the river, and the data collected by the sensor will be available on the Internet.

“You are probably already seeing our data, and you probably just don’t realize it,” U.S. Geological survey hydrologic technician Don James said. He was the lead technician involved with the sensor installation. “The National Weather Service puts out flood forecasts. Those images that you see on their website come from USGS. You’re already getting it, in a way, and it is all available on the web.”

The Geological Survey’s National Streamflow Information Program paid for the cost of the sensor. It’ll measure the level, rate of discharge and rate of speed of the Chocolay River.

“It’s a nice area surrounding there where the streams are pretty pristine,” James said. “They don’t have a lot of influence or impact by man, and so it’s an interesting one to study.”

The Chocolay River sensor will be one of more than 150 that measure Michigan rivers and streams. U.S. Geological Survey personnel will visit the sensor in the first week of October to collect data from the sensor and run tests on it.