High Water Detection System

During a storm, High Water Detection Systems (HWDS) automate motorist warnings and road closures to protect the public and reduce strain on first responders.

Meet your total road flooding detection and alerting solution

Detect water on roadways

Provides a self-contained monitoring and alerting station for flood-prone intersections or stretches of road.

Protect drivers from flooding

Warns motorists as they approach flooded areas and deflects them to reduce emergency calls.

Monitor real-time conditions

Integrates with your flood monitoring system with visualization and alerts through AEM Elements™ 360.

How we can help

Communities from coast-to-coast across the United States and in a growing number of countries around the world are keeping motorists safe from flooded roadways while simultaneously protecting the productivity of first responders during severe storm events using High Water Detection Systems from AEM.

Flexible, scalable solution

Automated beacons, barrier gates, and beyond

We offer a few different High Water Detection Systems to align with different use cases and situations. Flashing beacons, message signs, and even automatic road barrier gates can be configured on a site-by-site basis to provide tailored safety solutions.

community flood resilience

Monitor real-time rainfall & detect developing floods

The HWDS isn’t just a public-facing warning system; it’s a compact, scientific quality precipitation and water level monitoring station. Public safety and emergency management leaders can use data from HWDS sites to understand a flood event at a hyperlocal level as it develops.

Rugged and reliable

Protect drivers on any public or private road, no matter how remote

High Water Detection Systems aren’t just for public infrastructure. In remote mining and construction applications, where heavy equipment travels on dirt roads in undesirable conditions, the HWDS can easily save a driver’s life or protect a truckload of supplies.

Customer Stories


The name says it all, right? Generally speaking, the term high water detection system could be applied to any equipment whose primary goal is to alert users to rising water levels. Here at AEM, when we talk about our HWDS, we specifically mean a flooded road detection and alerting system that helps public safety officials understand when water is overtaking the roadway and alerts drivers to remain safe by staying away from potential hazards.

Many of our HWDS customers are cities, counties, and other municipalities in areas that experience regular flooding due to their climate, geographic, and hydrological profile. Governments need High Water Detection Systems in order to protect the public from driving into dangerous parts of the roadway during a flood while also reducing the number of emergency calls and strain on infrastructure created by inadvisable driving during storms. With that said, the HWDS is also popular in private sector industries that maintain their own systems of roadways, such as mining or oil and gas.

Our HWDS has two key components: the monitoring system and the alerting system. The monitoring system contains a precipitation sensor and water level pressure transducer. When flood waters reach the road, the monitoring system sends a message to both the alerting system and the central monitoring software using VHF transmission, triggering a flood alert. At that moment, the on-site alerting system or systems will begin flashing their beacons and deploying their gates. Appropriate public works, public safety, and flood management professionals receive alerts via AEM Elements 360 to inform them of the alert and provide further intelligence into the situation.

Our High Water Detection System is compatible with a few different software solutions, but the best way to make HWDS data part of an integrated flood risk management dashboard is by using AEM Elements 360. Elements 360 centralizes precipitation and water level measurements from HWDS stations and puts it alongside other key water monitoring information to maximize intelligence for management and response professionals. The station can also be programmed and updated remotely, minimizing trips to the field.

We provide ALERT2 solutions as part of our larger work on flood risk management and early warning systems. Some configurations of the HWDS are ALERT2-compatible, but not all. If ALERT2 is key to your strategy, our team of sales and installation professionals will work with you to bring your ideal system to life.


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