Sonde Survivor Entries


Winner #2! Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

Butte USA

We send our DS-5X and MS-5 to the bottom of the largest acid pit lake in the world twice a year. The Berkley Pit (Butte, MT) is a former open pit copper mine. It contains over 43.7 billion gallons of acidic (pH~2.6), metal-laden water that is about 1,000 feet deep. We use our sondes to […]


Minnesota Department of Health

St. Paul USA

The Hydrolab has been a game changer in our work to help public water suppliers provide safe drinking water. Since 2004, we have deployed the Hydrolab in 48 wells across the state. The Hydrolab delivers on every mission, even when jostled 735 feet down a ragged, air-drilled well. The Hydrolab has helped communities and businesses […]




In spite of a summer storm, we went out onto the lake. The Data Sonde’s cable played out unobserved. “Sonde overboard!” The thought hit me like a 3 C bucket of water. I recorded the location with the MOB on the Garmin. I researched a grappling hook and found cards used in fantasy games. I […]


Winner #1! University of St. Thomas

St. Paul USA

For the past 9 years we’ve deployed sondes in MN wetlands year round to determine annual metabolism and carbon emissions, which demands performance in temperatures 4 to 30°C and colonization of biological matter. We hang sondes from buoys and deploy them even as the lakes freeze over. We need snowshoes to traverse the snowy fields […]


City of Austin – Watershed Protection – Cave Team

Austin USA

We are presently 5 months into continuous deployment of three Hydrolab Sondes deep underground within Flint Ridge Cave. Deploying and operating the Hydrolab Sondes in such an exotic and remote location has proven to be a challenge that only the best equipment can survive. Going into Flint Ridge Cave is not an easy endeavor – […]


Quileute Natural Resources

La Push USA

The Quileute Natural Resources deploys the Hydrolab DS5X multiparameter sondes at 48 sites in the Quillayute Basin, which is located in the temperature rainforest. Drenched in over 12 feet of rain a year, our watersheds see rough conditions during high flows and low flows during the summer months. The sonde reads instantaneously six water quality […]


Snohomish County Surface Water Management

Everett USA

I use a Hydrolab sonde to monitor lakes in Washington. It worked great until the day I lost my mind, forgot to plug in the cable, and lowered the probe over the boat. Whoosh! The unconnected sonde dropped like a torpedo. Instinctively, and stupidly, I dove into the dark murky water to grab it. Too […]


Tetra Tech

Longmont United States

We currently maintain a network of seven DS-5 sondes to monitoring real-time water quality (pH, conductivity, and chloride) in the Purgatoire Watershed of southern Colorado. The DS-5 sondes were deployed in 2010 and have been monitoring water quality year round at 15-minute intervals for nearly five years. The durability and reliability of the DS-5 has […]



Cincinnati United States

Our story is not about how tough we are, it’s about how tough DS4′s have been. We use our Hydrolabs to help monitor the 981-mile length of the Ohio River. Extended deployments come with fouling issues and zebra mussel love. Our boat-based surveys have created the tough Sonde story. We were measuring physicals on the […]



Lansing USA

The project team (MDEQ, DLZ) currently deploy 4 Hydrolab DS5X multiparameter sondes into the waters of Thunder Bay, Lake Huron, near Alpena, Michigan. What makes our deployment so unusual and difficult is that the sondes need to be deployed underwater from November to April – in Michigan this means they are typically under ice cover […]


ALS Water Resource Group

Fyshwick Australia

Deep in the Papua New Guinean jungle, we were contracted to install 4 fresh water monitoring stations in an area that is only accessible by either Helicopter or a 7 hour Dugout Canoe ride. The Hydrolab MS5 probe was chosen as the water quality sensor as we had previously had good success with it in […]


University of Chicago

Chicago USA

We use a Hydrolab DS5x to study ecological dynamics on a remote island off the rugged Washington coast. Getting there requires navigating treacherous currents and landing through the surf in a zodiac boat. There is no power and the island is pounded by surf that can be 40′ high. We needed a system that reliably […]


Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks

Helena United States

We use a MS5 sonde to monitor ammonia and pH downstream of retainment ponds from a Superfund site on the Clark fork River, MT, and track fish movement seasonally. Typically the river does not freeze over until well into January, however one fall we experienced an extended cold snap in November that caught us off-guard. […]