Why Start-Up in Milwaukee?

Wellntel founders Marian Singer and Nick Hayes spent an afternoon with American Public Media’s Marketplace Sustainability reporter Sarah Gardner to talk about why Wellntel – a technology company focused on groundwater – is in Milwaukee. Sarah’s story explores the potential of a water-focused cluster in the area: anchored by the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences and The Water Council‘s Global Water Center (where Wellntel is headquartered.)

Admittedly,  it may seem an undue burden to create a business designed to help people plan and adapt for drought or flooding in a state that is rich with groundwater and natural lakes, rivers and wetlands. That said, Wisconsin boasts fine state Universities built by pre-eminent scientists committed to teaching friends and neighbors of the value of nature’s gifts.  And we’re learning that beyond Wisconsin, there are friends and neighbors who depend on groundwater and who understand that with a little care, that groundwater anchors strong, prosperous communities.

Listen to the entire story here:

V2 Sensors: like shiny, smart jewels

Wellntel Sensor Probe V2

Earlier this week, Wellntel began shipping a newly-engineered Sensor design so gorgeous that one might confuse the probe for a high-end piece of jewelry. Not to be mistaken for a set of earrings or a broach, however, the Wellntel V2 sensor includes three major updates:

  1. Improved signal quality, speeding calibration and tighter out-of-the-box sensor accuracy
  2. Higher grade stainless to last longer in harsh environments
  3. A precision-cut and polished hydro-phobic architecture to improve probe reliability in periods of extreme temperature change or high humidity

All new Wellntel kits will be built with the V2 design, and all customers and dealers with V1 stock can expect upgrades. And upgrading is easy. Unplug the old one, and plug in the new, shiner version. If you have questions about this, or any other technical feature or capability, feel free to email techsupport@wellntel.com or call us at 844-WELLH20 (844-935-5426).

Sensor Firmware 1.11 available

Today, January 10th, Wellntel has released Sensor firmware (V1.11) with a number of key improvements:

  • Improved absolute accuracy
  • Easier calibration, especially in harsh duty environments

For best performance, we urge customers to upgrade their Wellntel Sensors to this new software version when it is convenient, and offer three possible ways to go about it.

1.) Do it yourself: We will supply customers with the programs and step-by-step instructions required to do the update. It takes a first time user about 20 minutes to complete the process and a PC with Windows 7, 8 or 10. In order to do this, please email techsupport@wellntel.com with your Sensor serial number or login information, and we will reply within one working day with upgrade files and instructions.

2.) We’ll do it for you at the factory: The sensor will need to be returned to the factory for a few days. Customers will lose some readings in the process. Email techsupport@wellntel.com for shipping information.

3.) A local representative is available in some regions to assist with this upgrade. Contact Wellntel to learn if this option is available to you.

Email techsupport@wellntel.com or call 844-935-5426 between the hours of 8-5pm Central Time, Monday through Friday. If you reach us after hours, we will promptly respond the next weekday morning.

Learn how Wellntel maps groundwater in hi-res, near realtime

Among other exciting announcements by Wellntel at the National Groundwater Association Expo this weekend, citizen scientists, groundwater professionals, water managers and hydrogeologists can see how burgeoning Wellntel networks can be used to spot trends, risks and opportunities in groundwater at an unparalleled resolution, and from any computer, tablet or smartphone.

For example, during just the last 90 days, Wellntel sensors have been tracking what one expert calls an unprecedented winter recovery in the groundwater levels underlying eastern parts of the state of Wisconsin. Winter rains, a lack of frozen ground and dormant trees are contributing to increases in groundwater elevation at a time when water levels are thought to be normally static or slightly declining.

Wellntel Sample Contours

NGWA attendees will see this and other benefits of the large scale data collection that only Wellntel can offer. If you are in Las Vegas this week, stop by our booth (#1330). If not, check back here for additional announcements and highlights.

Groundwater Pumping Risk Featured in USA Today

If you haven’t already seen it, the cover article, called ‘Pumped beyond limits, many U.S. aquifers in decline’ at USA Today is a meticulously researched, eye-opening piece about the rapidly declining state of the US’ and the world’s major aquifers, impact, and potential solutions.

The first three solutions proposed are, in essence, Wellntel – and we make the last one, ‘closing the awareness gap’, possible. Another confirmation that Wellntel is the right technology and the right way to engage people in the conversation and the science – now and for the long haul.

If you have the time, watch the videos – they’re amazing.
USA Today Solutions

my.wellntel.com goes mobile!

Today, 12/10/2015, my.wellntel.com received major upgrades to improve the customer and dealer experience. There are many new features to celebrate (too many to list in one blog post.)

One of the most exciting, however, is that my.wellntel.com has gone mobile. If you login via a smart phone or tablet, you will be presented with a simple mobile dashboard containing:

  1. A tool to select among your Wells and Sites. This will help you quickly switch back and forth between one or more Wellntel systems, if you have more than one.
  2. The latest data from your selected Wellntel. With the new mobile app/site, you can check the latest reading value, a 30 day average, system health, and more.

    Wellntel Mobile 3

  3. Scroll down to review the most recent telemetry log entries from Wellntel Sensors and Gateways and refresh for the latest. This is especially useful for installation, start-up and troubleshooting. It will confirm (or not) that readings are getting from your Sensor to the Cloud. We’ve included it this cloud update and mobile app to speed the start-up process.

    Carry your phone into the field, hit the Force Reading button, and, voila!, there is your groundwater level, on your smartphone. If it doesn’t appear — you can check the rest of the network instantly.

Wellntel Mobile 2

Check back here for more news about this important upgrade.

Very Shallow or Very Deep Water

Very Shallow or Deep Water

Wellntel will work on wells as deep as 1600 feet, but the Factory Default Settings are designed for a range of water depths that are commonplace around the world: between about 50 and 600 feet to water. If you are aware that your well is shallower or deeper than that, take a minute to enter that distance on your well profile page during registration. (In fact, it’s a good idea to do this no matter how shallow or deep your water is.) Wellntel’s technical team will respond with custom calibrations that will help your Wellntel find and track water where it is.

If you are unsure how to do this, or need assistance, email us at techsupport@wellntel.com.

A Sounding Tube is in the Well

Sounding Tube

Wellntel can be configured to work through common sounding tubes, and indeed, they are usually a solution to other conditions. But sounding tubes themselves may require special calibrations and hardware adaptations.

It is important to make sure that sounding tubes are well vented. A factory technician may also suggest alternative sensor placement, special sounding tube construction and signal programming.

Variable Frequency Drive runs the Pump

Variable Frequency Drive

Sometimes the presence of a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) can create noise conditions in the wall that interfere with Wellntel’s signal. In some rare cases, a VFD can create a pattern of mixed results.

First, make sure to install the PPK included in your +Pump Wellntel Kit. Second, a Wellntel technician may recommend higher or lower signal sensitivity, special signal frequencies or other techniques to filter for accurate readings.

Milled Slot in Casing Pipe

Milled Slot

Where there is “milled slot” or a perforated casing seeping gravel or sand, caverns can form outside of the casing. These structures can attenuate or degrade signals. How can you tell? Your well construction report will tell you, and if you’re not sure how to read it, feel free to forward a copy to our Tech Support team, and we’ll help you.

It is best to mount Wellntel on an access port fitted to a sounding tube. In this case, the sounding tube contains the signal and enables successful readings. Wellntel recommends a sounding tube be installed by a qualified well servicer as a matter of practice in regions where the geology demands.

We’re happy refer a professional in your area if we can. Feel free to inquire by email at techsupport@wellntel.com.