Apr 27, 2015

Solar Flood Warning System

Location: 1822 First Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001, USA
My buddy, Ashish Malhotra in the Summer 2012
flood in front of my old place in Bloomingdale
Photograph taken at 1st and 
Seaton NW, solar panel on top
This last Sunday I was walking through my old neighborhood of Bloomingdale and came across a "Road Flooded Ahead" sign.

The area in question is the intersection of 1st and Rhode Island, a high-flood area--check out the photo to the right.

This sign uses low-energy LEDs that put out a lot of light when they blink. It's powered by one solar panel and is wirelessly connected to nearby surface and subterranean sensors. Here's the patent page for this sign designed by TAPCO, a Wisconsin-based company.

The sign is linked to the First Street Tunnel Project, designed to "...provide storage for combined sewage, to reduce future surface flooding and sewer backups and to reduce combined sewage overflows (CSOs) into the Anacostia River...When construction is complete in 2016, the tunnel will hold storm water during intense rainstorms, and ultimately a temporary pumping station will deliver the storm water up into the sewer system to be treated at DC Water's Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant" (Source).