HomeCouncilSubmersible drone technology used in reservoir work

Submersible drone technology used in reservoir work

Submersible drone
Water Services Treatment Team Leader Kym Kneebone viewing video of the Heaps Street water reservoir with ROV contractors Michael Porritt and Timothy Kelk.

Checking Bundaberg Regional Council’s reservoirs has become a whole lot easier for the Water Services team with the help of a submersible drone.

The triannual check of reservoirs is currently being undertaken through contractors across 20 sites in Bundaberg, Childers and Woodgate, on behalf of Council.

Overseeing the work is Water Services Project Engineer Jake Bennett with the assistance of Treatment Team Leader Kym Kneebone.

“This is the first time we’ve used this technology at Council for reservoir maintenance,” Jake said.

“It’s a safe and reliable way of completely eliminating the risk of confined space entry and provides information for forward planning into our budget program.

“It also saves us costs and time.”

Jake said without the drone it would normally take about three days to check a reservoir.

“We have to drain the whole tank, pushing as much water as possible up to the water tower with the rest of it going into the sewerage system,” he said.

“It then takes another day, pulling Council employees away from other work to check the tank, sometimes having to bring in a scissor lift for easier access.”

Jake said in comparison, the submersible drone only took about three hours, including set-up and disinfecting the drone to avoid cross contamination.

“The drone is submerged into the water and while moving around, takes high quality video and photos of the floor, walls and any internal pylons that support the roof,” he said.

“It also photographs pipe work in sumps and the bottom of the tank for any build-up of sediment.

“Even as it’s coming up to the surface it’s also capturing video of the roof structure, giving us an indication of what condition the roof is in.”

The success of this innovative technique has Water Services investigating other potential uses.

Other stories: Robotic technology featured in sewer works

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