Dodder stepping stones passable indicator

I often pass over the stepping stones on the River Dodder to access Bushy Park in Terenure.

On days like today, when there’s been a lot of rain recently, I can pretty much predict that the river level will be high, and make the stepping stones flooded and unusable.

But other days it’s harder to predict, and it’s not until you get to the actual stepping stones that you find out if they are passable.

So I got to thinking that it would be very useful to have some kind of online indicator to say if the river level is high blocking that crossing. It wouldn’t be that hard to create.

We would need a water level measuring device linked to a small computer (say a raspberry pi), with a SIM card for connection to the outside world, and maybe a small solar panel for power.

It could do a check of the water level, say every 10 minutes, and then call an API end-point on a publicly accessible server somewhere, to pass on the water level information.

The server can then host a very simple web interface (mobile accessible, obviously) showing if the steps are passable.

Then, when I’m out walking the dogs, I would be able to check online before I got near the steps, and divert to another route if needed.

Update: So it turns out I built a thing that predicts if the River Dodder Stepping Stones are passable. Take a look and let me know what you think. It’s available at

3 thoughts on “Dodder stepping stones passable indicator

  1. Hey Richard, did you know that Dublin City Council/EPA/OPW have a river water level indicator installed on Walton’s Bridge (Orwell Road) that isn’t too far away from here, and the telemetry is available as open data?
    This would save you the trouble of installing your own kit. I have a node-red server in AWS polling every few hours and graphing on a portal, but you could just as easily run it locally on a Pi.
    It would be interesting to correlate this with stepping-stone cross-ability but I’d say it would be spot on!
    btw in the last 7 days it has gone up by 40cms so I wouldn’t try crossing for a while!

  2. Based on the page that Padraic put me on to a couple of months ago, I finally got around to creating a web page that shows if the stepping stones are flooded or passable:
    The site makes an educated guess about water levels at the stepping stones based on the levels at Waldron’s Bridge some 1.4km downstream at Orwell Road. It’s not exact by any means, but it might help pedestrians like me know if the stepping stones are likely to be flooded in advance, and let us plan an alternate route.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *