Precise Water Balance


Small-scale lysimeter with big possibilities

Measuring every parameter needed for a complete and accurate water balance can leave you making a lot of assumptions. Eddy covariance gives you evapotranspiration (ET) but leaves you guessing as to the fate of soil water. Traditional lysimeters measure water flux in the soil but have no connection to the groundwater, which means the soil column becomes too wet or too dry compared to the field, throwing off the water balance. There’s simply been no all-in-one solution accurate enough for discerning scientists who want a precision water balance. Enter the Smart Field Lysimeter.

Smarter than other lysimeters

The Smart Field Lysimeter is more intelligent than other lysimeters. It’s the only system in the world with a bi-directional pump that automatically maintains true field conditions within the lysimeter.  How? Field moisture (water potential) is measured and transmitted to the control center. If the soil in the lysimeter is drier than field conditions, water is pumped back into the lysimeter from the drainage reservoir. If the soil in the lysimeter becomes too wet, the pump pulls water out, ensuring true field conditions at all times. Plus, the Smart Field Lysimeter weighs both the lysimeter and the drainage barrel with a high-precision balance. Increases and losses of stored water are directly measured to the gram, making it one of the most accurate measures of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and deep drainage on the market.

The most precise ET measurement on the market

The Smart Field Lysimeter is the only instrument that can make accurate plot-level estimates of the true field evapotranspiration. Why? Unlike eddy covariance, which relies on rain gauges with known inaccuracies, the Smart Field Lysimeter uses a highly sensitive load cell to weigh how much water accumulates or evaporates from leaves or the soil surface with an exceptionally high resolution. Nothing else can give you this type of ET data—nothing.  Homemade lysimeters will never be as accurate because of an extremely steep learning curve. The Smart Field Lysimeter takes advantage of years of lysimeter experience to unlock the door to accurate ET, without a herculean effort.

So accurate, you can detect dew formation

The precision balance inside the Smart Field Lysimeter is the pinnacle of METER engineering, designed using a quarter century of lysimeter experience. This means, unlike conventional tipping spoon and drip counter rain gauges, every single drop of water that precipitates or condenses on the soil surface is detected and measured—even dew or hoar frost.

The precision scale also accurately determines how much leachate leaves the root zone. Substances dissolved in it, such as nitrates or pesticides, can be analyzed independently by simply drawing a water sample from the drainage reservoir. Not only that, the SFL actually matches its temperature dynamics to field conditions, so nutrients and microorganisms exactly mimic what’s happening in the field.

Small and flexible

The Smart Field Lysimeter is small enough to transport in a pickup truck and install by hand. It’s available for three different depths, 30, 60, or 90 cm, allowing for customized layouts and giving it the flexibility to fit your application or unique site condition. Excavation is made easier with the SFL toolset and the lysimeter’s smooth stainless steel exterior. In addition, METER offers a complete installation service and advises you personally before, during, and after your purchase.

Get a complete measurement of the water balance

The Smart Field Lysimeter delivers high-resolution data on water, water flux, and mass transport with a depth and field precision no other instrument has.  If you want full transparency into water dynamics, measure the water balance parameters with the Smart Field Lysimeter, the only small system in the world that directly and accurately measures the actual evaporation, leachate, and precipitation at your site.

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  • A complete small, weighable, tension-controlled lysimeter combined with tensiometers, soil moisture sensors, data logger and optional GPRS modem
  • Field identical water conditions and temperature dynamics
  • Accurate ET
  • Direct measurement of the water balance
  • Depth flexibility
  • Lightning protection
  • Powered by solar panels
  • More economical and easier to install than large lysimeters



Modular setup

Modular Smart-Field-Lysimeter with bi-directional boundary control, basic setup, extendable to up to four lysimeters.

Pump system

Pumping system for bidirectional regulation of the lower hydraulic boundary, controlled by field matric potential or manually.

Leachate weighing platform

PL-10 weighing platform for leachate tank

Leachate tank

10 liters, comes with a buriable box

Included sensors

1 x T8 field reference tensiometer
3 x 5TE ECH2O probes for soil moisture
3 x TEROS 21 probes for matric potential
Auger set for probes

Data collection

Data logger DT80-M w. integrated GPRS/3G-modem for data transfer and remote access, SIM-ready


Rechargeable battery 12 V/26 Ah, charger and power-management module


Integrated lightning protection

SFL-300 cylinder

Stainless steel cylinder, height 30 cm, inner diameter 30 cm, six sensor ports, two each at 5, 15 and 25 cm

SFL-600 cylinder

Stainless steel cylinder, height 60 cm, inner diameter 30 cm, six sensor ports, two each in 5, 30 and 55 cm

SFL-900 cylinder

Stainless steel cylinder, height 90 cm, inner diameter 30 cm, six sensor ports, two each at 5, 45 and 85 cm

SFL-300 enclosure

Field enclosure with removable sealing and collar, diameter 45 cm, height 45 cm

SFL-600 enclosure

Field enclosure with removable sealing and collar, diameter 45 cm, height 78 cm

SFL-900 enclosure

Field enclosure with removable sealing and collar, diameter 45 cm, height 108 cm

SFL-300 weight platform

PL-50 weighing platform for lysimeter

SFL-600 weight platform

PL-100 weighing platform for lysimeter

SFL-900 weight platform

PL-200 weighing platform for lysimeter

California requires the following notice:

⚠️ WARNING: This product may contain chemicals including ethylene glycol, lead, nickel, styrene and cadmium, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov



Have a question or problem? Our support team can help.

We manufacture, test, calibrate, and repair every instrument in-house. Our scientists and technicians use the instruments every day in our product testing lab. No matter what your question is, we have someone who can help you answer it.

Phone US: +1 509-332-5600
Phone Europe: +49 89 12 66 52 0


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