How ELTEC’s Roadway Flood Warning Systems Work

10 29 2020
April Spears

Keeping our streets safe and up to code is our priority! At ELTEC, we want our customers to be able to easily understand how each signal and/or sign that we manufacture works. Meeting the needs of the transportation industry, increasing public safety, and reducing the rate of accidents on roads and motorways is the reason each product has been developed.

Let's Talk About Our Flood Warning Systems And How They Work

Wet and flooded driving conditions can be deadly. Our flood warning systems utilize LED traffic signal lights to provide early warnings to vehicles about slippery or flooded roads. ELTEC designed a sensor that detects both conditions and warns motorists before they encounter dangerous road conditions. ELTEC flood warning systems utilize a unique, solid-state non-corrosive sensor.

The sensor operates in briny, brackish, fresh and icy slush conditions; it does not function with ice. When the sensor gets wet, it acts as a switch, applying power to the LED flood warning signs. Every municipality has areas or roads that experience occasional flooding or become dangerous when wet. Our low maintenance sensor detects both conditions, forewarning motorists. 

A bronze-housed sensor is utilized and positioned at the desired high water detection point. When water touches the stainless-steel electrodes, an amplified signal activates the transmitter, which then activates the flashing road beacons. If the optional communication devices are used, messages can be sent to . The LEDs flash continuously as long as floodwaters are detected.  

Some curves on roads are extremely slippery when wet. A roadside embedded sensor warns motorists to SLOW DOWN or SLIPPERY WHEN WET prior to reaching the area.  
ELTEC’s sensor is embedded in the pavement near the outside edge of the roadway shoulder, or if impractical, installed in the concrete core alongside the road. The top surface of the sensor is level and flush with the surrounding pavement, which is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye but, even more importantly, not a tripping hazard! The wire connects the sensor to the flashing beacon pole for distances up to 2000 feet. 
Multiple sensors can be mounted on the detector pole or the bridge, triggering specific events with each level of flooding. For example, the lower sensor turns on the flashing signals, while the higher mounted sensor would lower the gates.

Should an intersection experience frequent accidents with the first sign of rain, the sensor can be connected to the controller, triggering a longer YELLOW light duration. This allows more time for the cars to get, or slide, through the intersection before the cross-traffic or a pedestrian enters.
We manufacture three different types of warning systems: Taction Systems and Warning Systems with Gate Closure, Staged Floor Sensors (Three Different Reports) and Bridge Underpass with Flood Sensor and Solar Powered Control Pole.

Wet Road Warning 

While not all roads are flood risks, some are slip risks based on their shape, material, and condition. With an embedded roadside sensor, it’s possible to detect adverse conditions and activate SLOW DOWN or SLIPPERY WHEN WET warning signals to alert motorists. Our sensor is embedded in the pavement near the outer edge of the roadway shoulder, or if this is impractical, it can be installed in a concrete core alongside the road. Each sensor is level and flush with surrounding pavement, featuring up to 50 feet of wire to connect the sensor with nearby flasher systems. 

High Water Warning

For areas prone to flooding or waters rising above the roadway, flood warning systems or high water signs may be required. ELTEC’S flood warning system utilizes a pole-mounted, submersible sensor housed in galvanized piping. Once the water makes contact and rises above the sensor, two stainless steel electrodes close the circuit and activate the flashing beacons or transmitter. As long as the floodwaters are detected, the activated LEDs will flash continuously to alert motorists.  

There are many features and benefits to our water detection and warning systems:

  • No moving parts: mechanical float switches can jam
  • Immune to trash or debris
  • Does not wear out: won't rust
  • Operates on salt/sea, brackish and freshwaters
  • Intrinsically safe: no sparks
  • Waterproof housing: wires not exposed to water
  • Activated as long as floodwater is detected
  • Available in either AC or DC/Solar powered
  • Customized: alerts, cameras, gates, weekly diagnosis

The above information references our flood warning systems but, if you are looking to enhance any of your safety concerns with solar-powered pedestrian lights or need a comprehensive solution to your traffic concerns, ELTEC has the traffic control products you need. For questions or to get a quote, please call us at 1-800-227-1734, we look forward to hearing from you!

ELTEC’s Mission Statement

ELTEC is a world-class provider of engineered traffic systems and solar-powered solutions with an emphasis on programmable timing products and pedestrian safety. ELTEC is sought out for exceptional quality, delivery, service, and customer support.