Open Channel Flow Monitoring

Engineering & Marketing International



Water Treatment


Blacksmith Fork Irrigation Company


Northern Utah, USA


  • Find an affordable and reliable solution for monitoring flows in a rural area facing a drought
  • Overcome the challenges of a small budget and the need for real-time monitoring in remote locations
  • Ensure user-friendly installation and operation, accessible to staff with minimal technical expertise


  • Limited budget for implementing a flow monitoring solution
  • Struggling with the cost of reliable flow monitoring in a mixed area of agricultural and residential customers
  • Previous solutions tested had failed to meet the organization's needs


  • Implement the X-404C Cellular Modbus Master Controller for its ideal blend of affordability, reliability, and simplicity
  • Utilize a solar-charged battery for the controller and level sensors, ensuring continuous operation in remote locations
  • Empower staff members and technicians with the ability to understand, troubleshoot, and operate the measurement stations with ease


  • Enabled real-time monitoring through the cellular modem without the high cost of Internet connectivity
  • User-friendly installation and setup, requiring little coding and accessible to staff with minimal technical expertise
  • The monitoring system has operated without a single problem since its installation in the summer of 2020
  • Reliable reading of sensor data, flow calculation, and publication via the ControlByWeb Cloud

With a small budget and desperate need for reliability, the odds were stacked against the rural non-profit. The company identified and tested a few potential solutions, but all failed. With the help of a volunteer engineer, David Olsen, the irrigation company came to ControlByWeb. David showed them the X-404C Cellular Modbus Master Controller, which offered the ideal blend of affordability, reliability, and simplicity for remote locations.

David's experience as an engineer meant that he knew the right solution when he saw it. Installation was quick and came just in time for a drought that has only intensified. Now the Blacksmith Fork Irrigation Company has an open channel flow solution that any of their staff can understand and operate.



This solution had several advantages:

  • At the cost of a few hundred dollars instead of a few thousand, it was very affordable. The cellular modem gave them a quick way to check current conditions and react in real time without the high cost of connecting the Internet to each station.
  • The ControlByWeb device was user friendly. Installation and setup were simple, required little coding, and the included cloud service (at no additional cost) made device access easy. Any staff member or technician can understand, troubleshoot, and operate the measurement stations with just a little guidance.
  • The X-404C was very reliable. The priority for ControlByWeb is industrial-grade reliability. In fact, since the installation in the summer of 2020, David tells us the monitoring system has worked without a single problem


Common open channel flow problems

  • Expense - Water companies and municipalities, especially in rural locations, often operate on a small budget that prohibits even small expenses
  • Complexity - Water managers and their crews often lack the expertise to install or operate a complex monitoring solution and can't afford an integrator
  • Failure rate - Complex solutions often result in failure due to a lack of understanding or an inability to maintain the system


ControlByWeb solutions

  • Low cost - Our stand-alone I/O modules are priced very competitively and work independently, without the need for expensive infrastructure
  • Easy setup and install - Simple drop-down menus and easy form fills are all you need to program our modules. No coding required
  • Reliable durability- Our industrial-grade products are known for consistent, reliable performance over many years with little-to-no maintenance