This app connects your mobile device to the LightWell installation project—a network of groundwater wells in Boston designed to provide real-time groundwater level readings. With this app you can find the active wells near you, push the readings to the cloud, participate in data crowd-sourcing in real time and find out about future installations. The Boston light wells installation leverages existing groundwater monitoring wells established by the Boston Groundwater Trust, equipping them with newly redesigned caps with LEDs and pressure sensors connected to micro controllers with Bluetooth connectivity.
Ten active light well caps will be on display at a time, and will be moving to different streets of Boston each month. Residents and visitors can see real-time groundwater level data digitally displayed on the face of the well caps or access the data through the mobile app. From the app, clicking on a data well within range displays a current reading. A groundwater diagram explains the depth relative to the sidewalk surface, as well as relative to Boston City Base. Clicking on a data well out of range will display the last reading published by app users. With your data-enabled mobile device, you can help with groundwater monitoring efforts by clicking “publish,” which uploads the readings to the cloud, and keeps the data on the app current. The blue icons on the app indicate which wells are currently active, and which are in or out of the mobile device's Bluetooth range.
This project engages citizens in an important effort to monitor and restore groundwater levels in Boston’s urban landscape. The app provides information on the Boston Light Wells project and links to the City of Boston’s groundwater recharge and conservation efforts. Draw-down of groundwater in the urban environment can affect wood foundations of historic buildings, threaten the health of urban coastal, riverine and groundwater ecologies through storm water pollution and seawater intrusion, and increase urban vulnerability to heat waves, sea levels rise, and extreme storm events. The Boston Light Wells project will make the real-time monitoring of groundwater in public space a valuable tool to visualize, communicate and evaluate the impacts of local mitigating strategies, and educate the public about what they can do in their own homes.