Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Get to the river when it's right!

  • What is
  • Rivermonitor provides a River Level Information and Mobile Text Alert service for rivers in England, Scotland and Wales using river levels taken at various points. Our data is provided by the Environment Agency for England and Wales (EA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

    Text Alerts to your Mobile

    You can setup Level Alerts free of charge to text your mobile phone to keep you updated with the latest river levels and to help you judge when the river is right for you!


    The Rivermonitor Website provides regularly updated river level information enabling you to...

  • How does the Text Message Service Work?
  • Get Rivermonitor to text your mobile phone instead of checking river levels yourself.

    Level Alerts

    It can take time to organise a trip to the river so an early indication that the river may be approaching the perfect level is ideal!

    Get Free Text Alerts sent to your mobile phone when the height of a river at a specified location hits a certain level.

    Latest Levels

    Get the latest levels sent to your mobile phone for a given river.

  • How Do I Set Up Text Alerts?
  • For a list of rivers we monitor, see the RiverMonitor Home Page. Run your mouse over the river names for a list of their gauge locations and examples of setting up text alerts.

    Set-up a Free Text Alert to text you when a river at a certain point hits a certain level

    Text LEVEL RIVERNAME LOCATION "Level In Metres" to 07860 077 337. For example, to setup an alert for the Tweed at Boleside hitting 0.98 metres, :-


    You can use abbreviations to make your request shorter. For example, the same request using abbreviations for the Tweed (TWE) at Boleside (BOL), you can use:-

    • LEVEL TWE BOL 0.98

    Learn how abbreviations work.

    You'll receive a confirmation text message of your request which includes the latest river level at that location.

    When the river at that location hits that level, you'll then receive a Text Alert. For example:-

    • Text Alert request accepted for the river Tweed (TWE) when the level hits .87 metres at Boleside (BOL). Latest +0.518m (1' 8 1/4") steady on 13-Mar-2013 @ 05:30hrs (
    • **Alert* Tweed (BOL) @ Boleside (BOL) : 18-Oct-2014 @ 17:30 +0.871m (2' 10 1/4") falling, 18-Mar-2013 @ 17:45 +.869m (2' 10 1/4") falling (
    • NOTE : Once a text alert is sent, your request is cancelled so you'll need to re-send the request if you want the alert to stay in place, perhaps using a different level.

      You'll receive a text reminding you of this.

    • *Alert* Tweed (BOL) @ Boleside (BOL) level 0.87 complete. Send LEVEL TWE BOL 0.87 to 07860 077 337 to continue alert. (
    • Our rules currently dictate that once a request is fulfilled, that the request automatically cancels. This is in place to protect you and to make sure you are in control of the number of alerts you can receive. At some point in the future we may enable users to leave Text Alerts in place, and allow them to cancel requests once they no longer need them.

  • How Do I get the latest levels by Text?
  • Text LEVEL RIVERNAME to 07860 077 337. For example:-


    You'll recieve a text message with the latest levels at all gauge locations monitored and a free message saying when the next update is expected.

    • Spey (SPE) on 17-Mar-2013 @ 05:00 : Invertruim (INV) +0.41m (1' 4") steady, Kincraig (KIN) +0.28m (0' 11") steady, Kinrara (KNR) +0.15m (0' 6") steady, Boat of Garten (BOG) +0.46m (1' 6") steady, Grantown (GRA) +0.57m (1' 10 1/2") steady, Aberlour (ABE) +0.77m (2' 6 1/2") rising, Boat o Brig (BOB) +0.39m (1' 3 1/2") steady (
    • Next available update for the Spey expected by 18-Mar-2013 @ 07:20. Send another request for further updates. (

  • How Do I get the next updated levels as soon as they come in?
  • If you want the next update as soon as it arrives, just add the word NEXT to the request.

    Text LEVEL RIVERNAME NEXT to 07860 077 337. For example:-


    You'll recieve a text message confirming the receipt of your request.

    • Request accepted for the NEXT level update for the Nith. This is expected on 18-Mar-2013 @ 07:20 (

    You'll then receive a text with the next set of levels when they arrive and a note of when we expect the next update.

    • Nith (NIT) on 18-Mar-2013 @ 04:45 : Dalgig (DAL) +0.5m (1' 7 1/2") steady, Hall Bridge (HAL) +0.38m (1' 3") steady, Drumlanrig (DRU) +0.5m (1' 7 1/2") steady, Friars Carse (FRI) +0.65m (2' 1 1/2") steady, Greensands (GRE) +0.38m (1' 3") steady. For the next update as soon as it arrives, text LEVEL NIT NEXT to 07860 077 337 (
    • Next available update for the Nith expected by 19-Oct-2014 @ 07:20. (

  • Is it possible to get out of date information?
  • Our river level data is received from different agencies operating remote field gauging equipment which transmit their readings periodically to the agency. The agency forwards this data on to Rivermonitor.

    Field equipment can fail on occasion which means that Rivermonitor is occasionally not provided with the data it needs to provide its service. If a response to one of your requests contains out of date data (typically more than a few hours old), you will be warned that this is the case. Although late, the information is still provided in case it is still of use to you.

    In response to a request for Latest Levels, you'll receive the latest level information we have, and an indication of when the next update was expected. For example:-

  • * This information is out of date or late. *Shin (SHI) on 09-Mar-2013 @ 05:00 : Inveran (INV) +0.25m (0' 10") rising. For the next update as soon as it arrives, text LEVEL SHI NEXT to 07860 077 337 ( Free Msg*
  • Next available update for the Shin expected by 10-Mar-2013 @ 07:20. ( Free Msg*
  • For example, in response to a Text Alert, you'll receive the alarm but with a note that it's out of date. For example:-

    • * This alarm is out of date or late. **Alert* Spey (SPE) @ Boat of Garten (BOG) : 15-Mar-2013 @ 11:00 +0.439m (1' 5 1/2") steady, 15-Mar-2013 @ 11:15 +2.441m (8') rising ( Free Msg*

  • Can I have more than one Text Alert active at a time?
  • Yes, there is currently no limit on the number you can set-up. we reserve the right however to introduce limits for operational reasons in order to make the service responsive and to give everyone the chance to make use of the service

  • How Often Is River Level Information Updated?
  • For some rivers, updates are notified on a daily basis each morning. For others, we receive additional updates during the day. At any time, the Maps, Graph and Levels page will say by when the next update for a selected river is expected, at the bottom of the page.

  • How Much Does the Text Service Cost?
  • The costs for Mobile Text Messages to and from the Text Message Service are as follows :-

    • All texts sent to 07860 077 337 have NO extra charge! Each text only cost the amount it costs you to send a normal (NON premium) text message

    As with with any other normal (non premium) text, if you have a tariff that allows unlimited texts, or a number of free texts and you are within this limit, your text costs you nothing.

    • Level Alerts

    When a Level Alert request is triggered (ie. the river hits the level you set), you will receive a free Alert Message

    • One-Off Level Updates

    When a text is sent in response to a Level Update request, you will receive two messages. The 1st message contains the latest levels for the river requested. For example...

    • Spey (SPE) on 25-Jul-2014 @ 05:45 : Boat o Brig (BOB) +0.33m steady, Grantown (GRA) +0.616m steady

    The 2nd message notes when the next updates are expected for that river.

    • Next update for the Spey expected by 26-Jul-2014 @ 07:25.
    • Help / Informational messages are also free of charge

    If the costs to Rivermonitor for providing our service free of charge we reserve the right to introduce limits.

    If charges are ever considered for the service, we will notify people well in advance and the Rivermonitor Text Service number may then change.

    If you make requests by text that we don't understand, you'll receive a text message in response to inform you that your request has not been accepted and to help you understand how to correct it.

    If you have access to, you can find the information you need on how to use the text service here.

  • Can I get information by email from Rivermonitor?
  • Not at the moment, although a subscription based service is being considered which may then include Alerts by email.

  • How do I stop receiving texts from alerts I've set-up?
  • To cancel all Level Alerts you've set-up, text LEVEL STOP to 07860 077 337


    To cancel all Level Alerts you've set-up for a particular river (if you want to leave others in place), text LEVEL STOP RIVERNAME to 07860 077 337. For example:-

    • Text LEVEL STOP TWEED to 07860 077 337

    NOTE: You will NOT receive a confirmation text.

  • How can I abbreviate river names and their gauge locations?
  • To make it easier to send requests, you can abbreviate river names and locations. Abbreviations are normally easy to guess, they're usually the first 3 letters of the river or location name! There are exceptions though because some rivers are named the same (for example there are many Avons and Yeos and of course a Welsh and Aberdeenshire Dee), or they share the same first three letters. For example, the locations for Kincraig and Kinrara on the SPEY for instance. Kincraig's abbreviation is "KIN", Kinrara's is "KNR".

    For all abbreviations, see, or check out the abbreviations when you receive a text alert.

    The two requests below mean exactly the same thing


    can instead be sent as . . .

    • LEVEL TWE PEE 0.3


    can instead be sent as . . .


    To abbreviate rivers such as the North Esk and South Esk, use the abbreviation NESK and SESK


    To specify gauge locations such as "Boat of Garten" or "Boat O Brig" on the Spey, use their acronyms.

    • LEVEL SPEY BOG 0.6
    • LEVEL SPEY BOB 1.45

    For a list of the abbreviations, checkout the Home Page. As you mouse over the rivers in the list on the left hand side of the page, you'll see the abbreviations on the right hand side.

  • Can I get help via text?
  • For anyone not able to view the website, Help information can be sent via text direct to your phone.

    For Help instructions, text LEVEL HELP to 07860 077 337.


    If you want a list of gauge locations for a particular river so that you can set-up text alerts...

    Text LEVEL HELP RIVERNAME to 07860 077 337. For example:-


  • Why do text messages sometimes take a while to arrive?
  • Your requests are processed as quickly as possible when they arrive and the turnaround time is normally a matter of a few seconds. Aside from any technical problems that the service may periodically encounter, messages can sometimes take longer to get back to your mobile phone for a number of reasons.

    For example:- There may be mobile network problems, mobile traffic is heavy, your handset is out of signal, issues with the mobile phone itself.

    • I'm Not Receiving Any Responses to my Text Requests. Why?

    If you've used the Text Message Service and are not receiving responses to your requests, there can be a number of reasons:-

    • Did you miss the word "LEVEL" at the start of your request?

    Your text will not have reached the Rivermonitor Service. Send your text again remembering LEVEL as the first word in your request.

    • Did you send your Text Request to the wrong number?

    The Rivermonitor Text Message Service is on 07860 077 337. Please check you have sent your request to the correct number.

    • Did you send a valid request that could not be understood by Rivermonitor?

    If Rivermonitor cannot understand a request you've sent, it will text you to let you know. Please then re-send your text again, correcting the error made in your original request.

    • STOP Requests

    Did you send a STOP request? When you cancel Text Alerts, you don't receive a separate text telling you the request was cancelled.

    • Mobile Network Problems

    There are occasions when mobile networks take longer than normal to deliver a text message, either text requests coming into Rivermonitor or responses being sent back to you. On rare occasions this can be a number of hours and is unfortunately outside the control of Rivermonitor.

  • How can I give suggestions and feedback?
  • We are on Twitter and Facebook. Alternatively go to the Contact Us form, fill it in and hit the Send button.