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Water Science for Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia

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Potomac River at Wisconsin Avenue (01647600)

How does the streamgage work?

The streamgage records water levels (stage) in the Potomac River is measured by using a pressure transducer which measures the pressure required to force small air bubbles through a tube into the river.

The pressure in the tube is measured every 6 minutes and converted to a water level. Higher water in the river requires greater pressure to push the air out of the tubing.

Data are sent hourly to USGS computers via the NOAA GOES satellite. The equipment is powered by batteries, which are recharged by the solar panel on top of the streamgage.



U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey

Wendy S. McPherson (

* If you want to receive notification of updates to the water conditions or receive the file, send an email to Wendy S. McPherson at wsmcpher@usgs with the following message: "Send monthly water conditions report."

Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center
5522 Research Park Drive
Baltimore MD, 21228


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Page Last Modified: Thursday, March 08, 2018