Water tank inspection can be cumbersome, time consuming and expensive, but remote operating vehicle (ROV) technology is changing that. This short article outlines the five ways ROVs assist water tank inspections.
During a traditional water tank inspection, inspectors examine the tank for compliance with OSHA/American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards and guidelines. They examine coating condition; looking for cracking, peeling, delamination, blistering and rusting. This visual process often involves either hiring an outside dive team to examine the inside of the tank or draining the tank to provide access. It can be both time consuming and expensive. This video explains the process.
You often have to wait to get on divers’ schedules. Plus, hiring a dive team can be costly.
But, ROV technology is helping to streamline things. Completing an ROV inspection requires a two-person team and one ROV. One person climbs the tank to insert the ROV into the bowl while another operates it from the ground using a remote-control panel. The ROV remains connected to the remote-control panel via a fiber optic cable. The ground operator sees what the ROV camera records on a display.
“We’ve had good success using the Deep Trekker ROV for our tank inspections,” Wolfgram says. “They’re really portable and have several different options.”
Here are five ways ROV technology can benefit a city.
Water tank inspections are a part of utility operations. Regularly scheduled inspections make sure the tanks are clean, operate correctly and a consistent schedule of inspections allows for easy, ongoing maintenance – a cost savings over time. The AWWA recommends an inspection every three to five years. Traditional visual inspections often involve the use of a separate dive team, which is costly and time consuming. Remote operating vehicles (ROVs) are helping to bridge that gap.
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Chris Wolfgram, NACE, CWI, is a protective coatings project manager who believes in using technology to save clients money and helping to provide clean water for communities. Contact Chris
Josh Rettig is a coatings inspector committed to understanding and implementing new technology to benefit cities. Contact Josh