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Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar Transmitters Withstand Catastrophic Flooding

No plant manager wants to think about a natural disaster impacting his or her facility. But when disaster strikes, it’s important to have a measurement solution that will withstand damage and keep from making the disaster worse. Magnetrol® guided wave radar instrumentation withstood major flooding in Texas and helped a plant avoid further catastrophe.

In a four-day period between August 25 and 29, 2017, many areas of Texas received over 100 centimeters of rain that caused catastrophic flooding. This was brought on by Hurricane Harvey—an extremely destructive Category 4 storm, the strongest to make landfall in the United States since 2005.

The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes and caused significant property damage and loss of life. They also prompted the closure of several refineries and chemical plants.

In some cases, the storm damage to the plants caused accidents that exacerbated the disastrous conditions. Two ExxonMobil refineries had to be shut down due to storm-related damage and releases of hazardous pollutants. Even worse, two explosions occurred at one of the Arkema chemical plants in Crosby, TX, due to the loss of power and, subsequently, the loss of proper cooling in one of its systems.

Another plant affected by Harvey has a direct tie to MAGNETROL. A chemical plant in southeast Texas relies on several Eclipse® Model 706 Guided Wave Radar (GWR) transmitters installed on sumps. In an email to MAGNETROL Global Product Manager Bob Botwinski, Chris Oglesby, a representative from Tech Quip in Houston, stated: “[The ECLIPSE 706 devices] held up to Harvey…even after being submerged for several days.”

The Model 706 is actually rated only to Ingress Protection IP 66/67, which is defined as “no harmful effects to occur from high-pressure water spray and/or short-term submersion.” However, these particular devices not only withstood full, long-term submersion over the course of several days, they started up immediately and began operating properly when called upon.

Although it is difficult to take much satisfaction in such a small piece of good news encompassed within such an immensely sad event, this story certainly highlights and substantiate the robust design and exceptionally high quality of MAGNETROL instrumentation.

For more information about the ECLIPSE Model 706 guided wave radar and other MAGNETROL radar-based transmitters, visit