OneRain Announces Release of Contrail® 8 Software Suite

Published on January 6, 2020 [Updated April 16, 2020]

Contrail® 8 is here! — OneRain Incorporated is pleased to announce a major new software release for its flagship platform.

In keeping pace with the ever-changing technologies, advances in security, and evolving requirements of their clients, OneRain announced the release of Contrail® 8—the next generation of their flagship software suite for real-time environmental monitoring.


Contrail is the leading enterprise-level software platform that collects, processes and delivers real-time environmental sensor data from local hydrometeorological networks and other external sources for Web-based dissemination, visualization, monitoring and automated alerting. The software provides critical information to help users understand and manage their environmental monitoring-related missions—from flood and road weather safety, to dams, stormwater, wastewater and water resource management—and is key to effective situational awareness and timely decision-making.

Included in this major update is the core Contrail software package, as well as Contrail Inventory plus, Contrail Camera, and Contrail TDMA Manager.




Contrail 8 features include the latest base operating system and core libraries, updated Web design with modern framework, and all-new widgets and graphing features. The release of Contrail 8 comes with a bevy of new features and improvements.

Latest Operating System

Contrail 8 runs on the newly released major version of Enterprise Linux operating system, CentOS 8. CentOS 8 incorporates important advancements in security hardening and optimized performance. It’s one of the most robust operating systems available, where the reliability and stability of systems is key. With this new operating system, Contrail utilizes all of the latest versions of PHP, MySQL, Python, Perl, etc.

Modern Design

A new front-end framework uses modern libraries and updated visualization that optimizes for mobile devices.

Contrail Administration screen

New Graphing Features

New graphing enhancements to easily visualize the data that is important, including historical mode, data quality values, easier axis scaling.

Contrail Graphing Features

Lots of New Widgets

Several new widgets for Contrail Dashboards have been added, including Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Wind Rose, Wind Direction Distribution, Contrail Camera Image browser for easily viewing previous images, Google Drive for embedding documents, YouTube, Dark Sky, Twitter, Earth Networks, and National Weather Service (NWS), and more…

Contrail Wind Widgets


Contrail Camera Widget

New Data Formats

Contrail is now able to collect new and expanded data formats and offers seamless integration for sending SHEF data to the National Weather Service and others.

Contrail Data Formats for National Weather Service and others

Create New Alert Rules for Contrail Camera

Add Rules to be notified of image latency, and more! An email alert can be generated if Contrail Camera has not received an image in a predetermined amount of time. Additionally, Contrail Camera can alarm on certain image metrics of interest over particular time periods, including if duplicate images are received, a camera is over reporting, or if a image data exceeds certain thresholds.

Alert Rules for Contrail Camera


All-New “Help” Website

An all new Help website has been created to make it easier to find the relevant information for general users and system administrators. The website can be found at, includes Knowledge Base, Articles, Glossary, FAQs, and the opportunity to Chat with our Contrail Support team.

OneRain Help Website

Data Annotations

Users can easily add more information within their data with data annotations. Contrail now includes annotations for documenting any additional information the system administrator would like to show: marking the start/end of a historical event, noting an instrumentation change, or indicating the beginning of a procedural change.


Data Annotations

Much More…

New collector and services managers allow for more easily configuring, including easily switching data collection and services between instances of Contrail instances for faster disaster recovery. Users can add notes to any alarm rule to document with additional information. Updated search allows users to quickly get to the information more easily. Enhanced support tools allow for the Contrail team to more easily diagnose and troubleshoot any issues with the software. Additional software configuration options for base station owners.



Contrail 8 is considered a major operating system and application upgrade from Contrail 6, which will now be placed into Long-term Support (LTS). This software upgrade is available to all OneRain-hosted Contrail Web and Contrail Server users as well as licensed on-premise Contrail Base Station users current with standard maintenance.

This upgrade is automatic for Contrail Shared Web and Contrail Cloud Server instances—there’s no need for these customers to take action to receive the update.

For agencies that are running licensed on-premise Contrail Base Station, OneRain’s Contrail Support team will work directly with the agency’s IT department to provision a new server to facilitate the upgrade and migration from existing servers, and enable the running of systems in parallel for a period during the transition.


About OneRain Incorporated
Since 1992, OneRain has been providing solutions that optimize water management, heighten regulatory compliance, achieve successful civil works, and save lives. Headquartered in Longmont, Colorado, OneRain’s software and services deliver mission critical information to serve clients responsible for flood early warning, dam safety and reservoir operations, water resources, stormwater and wastewater management. For more information, visit or call 800-758-RAIN (7246).

OneRain is proud to be part of Advanced Environmental Monitoring – a family of innovators.

OneRain Announces Title Sponsorship of National Hydrologic Warning Council’s 13th Biennial Conference

OneRain Incorporated, a leading provider of software, instrumentation, and systems integration to the Water Resource Management, Flood Warning, Post-Wildfire Mitigation, and Road Weather industries, is the title sponsor for the National Hydrologic Warning Council’s 13th Biennial Training Conference & Expo, June 17-20, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. More than 200 attendees from local, state, and emergency response agencies from around the U.S. and abroad are expected to attend the event being held in Galt House Hotel.

“This is a really important conference as we continue to see the growing risks of flooding with the steady increase in extreme hydro-meteorological events, dam failure and levee breach incidents, and destructive wild fires that are impacting the world.” said OneRain’s CEO, James Logan.

This year’s conference is devoted to real-time hydrologic warning systems and how these systems and associated technologies assist local officials with hydrologic hazard preparedness, emergency response, recovery and mitigation. It is the largest conference focused on this topic in the United States.

OneRain, part of the AE Monitoring family of companies, will present on best practices for creating more reliable decision support systems and risk reduction through innovative technologies used in real-time early warning systems. Several educational sessions and training workshops will be presented by the AE Monitoring family over the course of three days:


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

8:30 am – 10:00 am: “Enhancements to HSE Hardware“, presented by Carrie Lery and Tom Ogden, High Sierra Electronics, CA

8:30 am – 10:00 am: “How Do You Model a Flood Anyway?“, presented by Baxter Vieux, Vieux & Associates, OK

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: “Twenty-Twenty Vision – Leveraging the Power of Live Cameras in Contrail®“, presented by Charles Yost and Scott Bores, OneRain Incorporated, CO


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

11:00 am – 11:30 am: “The Internet of Things and Seven Things You Should Know About How It Will Impact the Flood Warning, Dam Safety, and Levee Safety lndustries“, presented by James Logan, OneRain Incorporated, CO

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: “Bexar County Texas HALT System“, presented by Dave Wegman, Bexar County, San Antonio, TX and Tom Ogden, High Sierra Electronics, CA


Thursday, June 20, 2019

9:00 am – 9:30 am: “South East Queensland ALERT2 Trial – Increased Reliability & Accuracy of Flood Warning Data in Australia“, presented by Mike Zucosky, OneRain Incorporated, CO

9:30 am – 10:00 am: “Enhancing Hydro-Met Warning Systems with the Internet of Things“, presented by Zoë Fyfe, FTS Inc., BC, Canada

10:30 am – 11:00 am: “System Resiliency, Eliminating Single Points of Failure“, presented by Scott Bores, OneRain Incorporated, CO

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm: “ALERT2 Network Design” presented by James Logan, OneRain Incorporated, CO and Carrie Lery, High Sierra Electronics, CA


The full conference agenda and schedule is available here.  For more information about the 2019 NHWC Training Conference & Expo and event registration, go to


About OneRain Incorporated
Since 1992, OneRain has been providing solutions that optimize water management, heighten regulatory compliance, achieve successful civil works, and save lives. Headquartered in Longmont, Colorado, OneRain’s software and services deliver mission critical information to serve clients responsible for flood early warning, dam safety and reservoir operations, water resources, stormwater and wastewater management. For more information, visit or call 800-758-RAIN (7246).

BIA Safety of Dams Early Warning System

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for 910 dams on Indian reservations; of which 137 are classified as high- and significant-hazard. Having been built several decades ago, many of the dams are not aging well and pose dam safety risks. BIA is actively modifying some of these dams to an acceptable safety level, however, with limited budgetary funds each year, a number of dams go unmodified until funding becomes available.

As part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Safety of Dams program, BIA built and operates the National Monitoring Center, a 24/7/365-manned emergency operations center in Montana to ensure the safety of downstream communities. The dams are scattered on tribal lands throughout the western U.S.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Dam Safety Program uses OneRain’s Real-time Hazardous Flood Detection Solutions to support their National Monitoring Center.

The National Monitoring Center (NMC) Early Warning System is built upon the integrated real-time monitoring instrumentation, telemetry and centralized enterprise data collection services infrastructure developed by OneRain.

Under contract with the BIA since 2003, OneRain has been working in partnership with the agency’s Safety of Dams program supporting and continually enhancing the Early Warning System (EWS) in all aspects. OneRain and the NMC’s emergency personnel currently monitor more than 2,637 sensors for more than 112 high-hazard dams in real time. Key to the success of the program is knowing how well the instrumentation and sensors are performing at all times. The program includes daily system performance analysis that detects outages automatically. BIA, with OneRain, has an excellent preventive, proactive and routine inspection maintenance schedule in place for the monitoring instrumentation for ensuring that the flood warning network provides accurate, reliable information during a hydrological event.

Several sensors comprise OneRain’s remote dam safety monitoring instrumentation and gauges shown here at Lower Mundo Dam – part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Safety of Dams program.


The majority of the dam sites are on tribal lands in extremely remote locations. The Safety of Dams program uses OneRain’s StormLink real-time satellite systems to relay data from sensing sites and from local line-of-sight ALERT/ALERT2 or SCADA systems to OneRain’s data center where its decision-support software, Contrail®, continually collects and monitors rainfall, water level, stage height, flow rate data and more, in real time.

All the data coming in are automatically processed, analyzed and disseminated in real time in Contrail. Alarms events are triggered based on advanced customized rules and the system automatically generates and sends out early warning notifications with Emergency Action Plan (EAP) procedures to alert emergency personnel of possible hazardous and flood-threatening conditions. For example: if the stage height is near a bank full threshold, and it has rained more than 0.5-inches upstream in the last half hour, then an alarm is triggered. The alert notification system supports sending messages to cell phones, email, and text pagers. BIA and NMC staff have 24/7 secure web-based access to the system where they can see up-to-the-minute current conditions on high resolution maps, dashboards, charts, graphs and tables.

With OneRain’s system, the BIA and the NMC know at all times that their dam safety systems are up and running, or that it needs attention.

The National Monitoring Center is the key in providing significantly enhanced public safety to populations downstream from Bureau of Indian Affairs high-risk, significant-hazard dams.


#damearlywarningsystem #damsafety #safetyofdams


Predicting El Niño’s flood risk: How new warning systems save lives, property

In the news February 2016: “Predicting El Niño’s flood risk: How new warning systems save lives, property”. OneRain’s Contrail® software provides the real-time monitoring and alerting for San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority’s newly launched Flood Early Warning System. Check out this great article by journalist, Lisa Krieger with the Mercury News, focused on how automated remote data systems are helping protect communities in the San Francisco Bay area.

News Source: Lisa Krieger, San Jose Mercury News

Four winters ago, as worried rescuers watched the quickly rising waters of a Peninsula creek and tried to decide whether to alert local residents, they turned to a small green plant for guidance.

“You see that shrub?” one public safety official said. “When it’s under water, we’re going to start evacuating.”

Today, that sentinel shrub has been replaced by a sophisticated network of gauges, sensors and computers that can save lives and property — not only in flood-prone Menlo Park, Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, but also in vulnerable South Bay and East Bay communities.

OneRain’s Contrail® software provides the real-time monitoring and alerting for San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority

Counting El Niño’s raindrops in distant mountains, the new flood-prediction systems are for the first time allowing the Bay Area to anticipate disasters, not merely respond to them.

“We can ramp up, adding resources and personnel,” said Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman. “It becomes part of normal planning.”

A revolution in technology allows for the highly automated and near-instantaneous analysis of enormous volumes of digital information about water flow.

It works like this: Separate streams of data — collected from mountain peaks and rushing creeks — are integrated into huge databases. Computers then track rising waters and predict flood risk, based on creekbed capacity and the surrounding landscape.

As waters run high, the computers can issue an electronic flood alert to local residents downstream. For instance, mid-Peninsula residents who are registered to get an alert — by text or email — are kept informed about four different flood-prone locations along San Francisquito Creek. They will be notified nearly two hours in advance of the water overflowing its banks.

“We know what is coming down the system,” said Len Materman of San Francisquito Creek’s Joint Powers Authority, which has a newly expanded system of automated rain and creek gauges perched 2,000 feet above the vulnerable mid-Peninsula cities. “We can give people solid information for decision-making” about such things as when to sandbag, get electronics and antiques off the floor or seek higher ground.

To be sure, even the most high-tech upstream tools can’t predict flooding from surprise local sources, such as a suddenly downed tree or a blocked storm drain.

While we’ve long been able to accurately forecast flooding on major water routes like the Sacramento River, the risk along smaller urban tributaries — prone to flash floods, especially if lined with concrete — has been far tougher to predict.

Flooding is the leading cause of severe weather-related deaths in the U.S., causing 75 to 200 drownings per year. Because cars can be swept away in only 1 to 2 feet of water, about half of the drownings are vehicle-related.

In the last strong El Niño in the winter of 1997-1998, 1,700 homes were flooded on the Peninsula, and some residents had to be evacuated by boat. There also was damage in other Bay Area communities.

But history isn’t much help in predicting future risk because every storm is unique, with different rainfall patterns, experts say.

Steve Fitzgerald, president of the National Hydrologic Warning Council, has witnessed the recent and dramatic expansion of real-time, high-quality hydrologic information.

In 1983, as Hurricane Alicia bore down on his city of Houston, he was frustrated and fatigued by attempts to identify danger. Working 24 hours straight, he used a Wang computer to plot the data delivered by the county’s 12 rain gauges, imperfect devices rigged with weights and cables. Each graph took him 45 minutes to complete. Then, as rains pounded the city, the information quickly became obsolete and needed to be updated.

Now computer analyses of his county’s 150 electronic gauges and sensors take only seconds. “There has been quite a transformation,” said Fitzgerald, chief engineer of the Harris County Flood Control District.

Other cities with state-of-the-art flood prediction capabilities include Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Charlotte, North Carolina.

In the Bay Area, the newly expanded mid-Peninsula network was designed by hydrologists and data-crunchers at Berkeley-based Balance Hydrologics, using property volunteered by Stanford University, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and San Mateo County Parks.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District has a network of 70 stream and rain gauges throughout the county, located along Los Gatos Creek, Stevens Creek, Alamitos Creek, Uvas Creek, the Guadalupe River and other sites.

Contra Costa County has three stream gauges, 29 rain gauges and one reservoir gauge, and it just received a grant to add 10 more stream gauges. It monitors Marsh Creek in the eastern part of the county and Walnut Creek in the central part of the county.

In Alameda County, a network of about 90 rain and stream gauges collects data used to estimate potential flood conditions. In the future, the county plans to expand its network to develop a database and Web tool that can be downloaded by residents.

The magic of the new technologies is that they can identify an emerging risk miles — and hours — away. Gauges, powered by solar panels, can accurately send electronic signals to data loggers via radio, landlines, cellphones or satellites. This data is more quickly analyzed due to increased computer power. And the flood risk is instantly communicated to nearby residents.

But, Materman said, it’s not enough to just gather information: “The first half of the problem is better data. The second half is: How do the public and emergency responders use that data?”

Increasingly, residents can go online to track water levels and changes in flow rates, said Gary Kremen, a board member of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “There is greater transparency. It is empowering.”

But how well will this all work?

This winter’s El Niño could put it to the test.

“It is a work in progress,” Materman said. “Our work is based on models. We’ll need to ‘ground truth’ it.”

It’s far better, though, than keeping a watchful eye on a shrub, he said. “But it will take a real storm to see whether it behaves like we predict it should.”

  • BETTER GAUGING STATIONS: Rain gauges are 10-foot-tall pipes with a funnel, bucket and tipping mechanism at the top; each tip measures 0.04 inches of rainfall. Creek gauges have a membrane that precisely measures the depth of water and converts it into a flow rate, expressed in cubic feet per second.
  • IMPROVED DATA TRANSMISSION: Each time the rain gauge’s lever tips, its tiny internal computer sends a high-frequency radio transmission with the tip counter numbers to a receiver or repeater, then to a computer system. In creeks, the gauges convert the water’s depth to a flow rate, then transmit signals via phone lines.
  • FASTER ANALYSIS: With ever-increasing computer power, software processes the many signals into a computer database, which monitors the information as it is received. It triggers a warning when certain thresholds — say, water filling 80 percent of a creek’s capacity — are reached. Because different locations have different flood risks, the warnings can be localized.
  • ADVANCED COMPUTER MODELING: Instant access to project data is available through a cloud-based data center and can be viewed in real time or as a graph to identify trends. Using advanced math, topographic models can predict where and when water will likely go, if flooding occurs.
  • CELLPHONE ALERT SYSTEMS. In 2012, a California law went into effect that allows emergency alerts to be sent to cellphones, allowing flood control agencies to send automated warnings directly to the cell towers of major U.S. carriers, which then transmit those messages by text or email to phones. Residents of some communities can also track flood risk on websites.


Full Article Source:
Contact Journalist Lisa M. Krieger at 650-492-4098. Follow her at and

What Will Flood Warning Systems of the Future Look Like?

LONGMONT, COLORADO, June 11, 2015 – OneRain’s Mike Zucosky will be taking a look at flood warning systems of the future in his presentation at the National Hydrologic Warning Council’s 2015 Training Conference & Exposition in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 15-18, 2015. OneRain Inc., a leading provider of real-time and historical hydrologic and rainfall-related data solutions, software and services, is a title sponsor and one of the main contributors of the biennial conference.

The growth and increasing robustness of Internet services, especially wireless access, has changed how and where flood early warning systems can be deployed. Cloud-based software services are also changing how data is collected and viewed during critical events. The development of Smart Cities and the rise of Social Media has also begun to open new paths for data collection and dissemination. At the same time, growing concerns over the privacy of data and security related to IT infrastructure will require proactive solutions to these potential problems.

OneRain’s presentation will examine these trends and present possible impacts that innovation in other fields may have on the design and implementation of flood warning systems years from now. It will explore the future of sensing, data transmission and collection, data sharing, collaboration and distribution. Today’s flood warning paradigms will shift. The future of flood warning systems will be a brave new world.

Photo credit: Fritz Law, OneRain, June 12, 2015. Urban Flooding East of Alameda and Santa Fe, Denver, Colorado

The 2015 National Hydrologic Warning Council (NHWC) biennial conference—the largest conference of its kind in the United States—will be attended by prominent federal and state officials and hydrologic warning professionals. As one of the main sponsors and industry experts, several other members of the OneRain team are presenting throughout the conference on a variety of topics including designing networks for ALERT2™, and the visualization tools that aid in those designs. Stop by OneRain’s booth where you can meet with the team and see some of the new features and enhancements recently added to OneRain’s Contrail® real-time hydrologic monitoring and warning software application.

For more information about the NHWC and the 2015 NHWC conference, “Advances in Hydrologic Warning – The Race to Save Lives.”, visit

About OneRain Incorporated
For more than 20 years, OneRain has been providing private and public sector clients across the United States and around the world with solutions to optimize water management, heighten regulatory compliance, achieve successful civil works, and save lives. OneRain’s innovative products and services serve clients in Flood Early Warning and Emergency Management, Dam Safety and Reservoir Operations, Water Resource Management, Post Wild Fire Mitigation, Urban Pluvial Water Management, and Stormwater and Wastewater Management. For more information, visit or call 1-800-758-RAIN (7246).

Contact Information
Rosemarie O’Connell, Sales & Marketing, OneRain Incorporated
Phone: 303-774-2033 | E-mail:

2013 Colorado Flood Event – Flood Early Warning System

LONGMONT, COLORADO, October 1, 2013 – It’s been a busy time here in Colorado as our team has been supporting the recovery efforts from last month’s epic flood event.

OneRain field truck follows a detective through flood devastated area


OneRain installed and currently maintains a considerable number of the hydrologic gauges along the Colorado Front Range and provides the software for real-time data collection, monitoring and alerting. Members of our field staff have been seeing first hand, the destruction and devastation that the powerful floodwaters caused, as they venture out to perform maintenance and evaluate the condition of gauges in the network.

OneRain field staff attempt to access gauge to evaluate a flood-damaged gauge site

Our systems performed well during this historic event. Our software application, Contrail®, provided the continuous real-time data collection, early warning alarming, and notifications and monitoring of the numerous rainfall, stage, and stream flow gauge sites in the region, while several of our personnel were on hand in the midst of the storm assessing the data and providing assistance to coordinators and first responders in the Emergency Operations Center.

The OneRain team is passionate and committed to helping our local agencies in their missions to detect, reduce risks, respond, and minimize losses in potential flood-producing rainfall storm events and our thoughts are with all those impacted by this devastating flood that hit our home state.