The LEWAS monitoring station is unique because the instant the data is collected from the sensors individuals can view it online. A Raspberry Pi is a microcontroller at the monitoring station connected to the sensors and wireless internet router. The data travels from the sensors through Virginia Tech’s wireless network into the LEWAS database. The Online Watershed Learning System (OWLS) is a website which allows students, researchers, or community members to view and download the real-time data.
Stroubles Creek is an impaired waterbody located downstream of Webb Branch and Central Branch. The urban headwaters emit a large amount of sediment and urban pollution into the creek during rainstorms. Stroubles Creek is a well-studied creek as it continues downstream through fields containing agriculture and livestock. The Stroubles Creek is a sub-watershed of the New River Watershed, but LEWAS is interested in capturing acute hydrologic events and urban pollution at the headwaters.
Throughout the years, LEWAS has documented record flooding events, water main breaks, road salt runoff, and illicit discharges that may have gone unnoticed without high-frequency real-time environmental data.
If you would like to visit the LEWAS monitoring station, it is located near North Hahn Hall, just off of West Campus Drive, downstream of the Perry Street parking lots, and upstream of the Duck Pond.