Rain Gauge Tips

Rain gauges are used to collect information about precipitation over a specific time frame. They collect rain from the location they are placed, and provide important data regarding rain activity in the place of interest.

The California Construction Stormwater General Permit (CGP) requires a Rain Gauge to be located at all job sites, including Caltrans projects.

Why is this important? Tracking the rain is a good way to document and understand local job site conditions. While public rain gauges are helpful to use for occasional reference, they are not the most accurate way to collect rain information for your job site. As per the CGP, it is important that every job site has it’s own rain gauge installed.

The information collected from this gauge can help you determine if you need sampling, give you data to substantiate “weather delays”, and give you insight into local weather patterns. Many Fish & Wildlife permits also have specific weather restrictions, and the gauge can be used to show if a rain event did or did not occur at your job site.

Here are some tips written by Stormwater Professional and President of Tully Consulting Group, Robin Tully, PE, QSD. She says that proper set up of a rain gauge is critical in collecting accurate information.

Rain Gauge Tips

  1. Avoid placing a rain gauge on a building, or underneath thick canopy trees

  2. Chain link fences or small fence posts make for a great spot to place a gauge

  3. Secure with 2 zip ties (see picture below) or 2 nails (for gauges with nail slots)

  4. Locate in a safe area with easy access

  5. A construction yard is usually an ideal spot, but make sure to locate the gauge on the outside of the fence (so that if the yard gate is locked you can still read it)

  6. Rain gauges seem to disappear in high crime areas, but don't let that discourage you. Still put out rain gauges because they are affordable and easily replaceable.

  7. Alternatively, you can relocate the gauge to a nearby job site that has a more secure yard.​

  8. High Tech is NOT always better - the electronic ones can get damaged or stolen. A simple, plain rain gauge works best.

Pictured above is a properly installed rain gauge. The zip ties on the top and lower portion allow for easy removal of the rain gauge. This way the gauge can be dumped when it’s full with water, and placed back into the zip ties when done.

All of our employees have been prepped for properly installing rain gauges. What can you do to ensure that your rain gauge’s are properly installed and maintained?

If you have questions feel free to call us at (707) 693-1926 or email us at estimating@tullygroup.com.

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