With infrastructure aging, populations increasing, sea levels rising, and large storms becoming more frequent, stormwater issues have evolved into crises in many areas across the globe, including the United States. Stormwater is the primary cause of water pollution in urban areas, and with increasing development and climate change resulting in stronger storms, flooding is becoming an increasingly common concern.

Despite the evident commitment of our communities and our governments to efficient water management, a fundamental problem exists: we lack adequate means to prioritize capital expenditures and monitor the efficacy of deployed solutions. In a world increasingly reliant on analytics to support decision making, incredibly, the same data are notably absent in stormwater and wastewater management.

Consequently, the biggest problem that stormwater and wastewater managers face today is a true understanding of how their systems really work. We lack the basic knowledge of how much water moves through systems under different conditions, which areas are particularly prone to flooding and vulnerable to sea and sewer incursion, as well as the sources of the egregious volume of pollutants entering our lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans—data crucial in making decisions regarding effective water management.

StormSensor’s Terrapin™ network provides an affordable and practical solution to monitor how—and where—billions of gallons of water move through our belowground infrastructure on a daily basis. Our cost-effective sensors can be placed at strategic points throughout a system to detect temperature and flow under almost all conditions on a continuous basis, providing data on many of the critical questions facing managers today. Perhaps most importantly, the data accrued by these measures provide valuable insights for future construction and system modifications based on real-time feedback, allowing early identification of system failures and the initiation of corrective measures via an innovative approach, simply designed, to address an age-old problem.

In 2015, StormSensor embarked on a journey to create a world where we can look around and understand the quality of our water, immediately and without question. We envisioned a world where we can cost-effectively generate data at a granular level for application across entire urban watersheds.

After two years of testing and retesting, we have just launched our first customer pilots in Kitsap County, Washington, and Tukwila, Washington, and we’re deploying our network in Jersey City, New Jersey, in March. We are incredibly excited to see our dream come true, and to work with customers as excited as we are to solve this very basic problem for a very precious resource.

Please contact us at erin@ if you would like additional information or if you would be interested in supporting a pilot of our Terrapin™ Network.

About the author

Erin Rothman

Talk stormwater with With more than 15 years of environmental consulting experience, Erin observed so many opportunities for innovation in the stormwater industry. With those in mind, she founded StormSensor to enthusiastically embrace new technology to help solve the problems of an age-old industry.