Riley Kooh | June 10th, 2022
As Earth’s most valuable natural resource, water is constantly being utilized for drinking, bathing, food production, industry, energy, waste management, and more. Worldwide, humans currently use 10 billion tons of freshwater every day. Managing and treating water on that scale can sound like an insurmountable task, however effective internal practices can assist water treatment plants to meet these needs.
A coarse or ‘bar’ screen spaces steel bars at 5-15cm intervals to catch the largest of solids like logs or animals. Water will first travel through the coarse screens and into the fine screens which space their bars at 5-20mm intervals. All sediment and organics will then fall to the bottom of a collection area and be pumped out for processing and disposal.
The water is then stirred by mechanical paddles to force contact between the flocs and compound into larger particles. To avoid the flocs from breaking apart, the water travels through different compartments within a basin with progressively slower mixing speeds. This process is called flocculation.
Depending on the scenario, additional treatment measures may be beneficial to implement. A common additive to drinking water is fluoride to assist in oral health and prevent dental decay.
Additionally, testing should also be conducted of the waterway in which water is being drawn and deposited for quality assurance. For quick and effective sampling throughout different water levels and locations, ROVs with water sampling attachments or environmental sensors are an invaluable tool.
Submerged inspections of basins, filter systems, paddles, etc., can be difficult and/or dangerous for divers to perform without downtime. ROVs can be an effective tool for safely conducting and recording underwater inspections, as well as retrieving or manipulating physical debris. Identifying areas of concern and scheduling cleaning or maintenance helps alleviate potential issues in the future.
The Canadian city of Regina's water treatment plant at Buffalo Pound Lake serves as an excellent example of how an ROV could assist in consistent inspections. High levels of algae in the water have slowed the filtration process to half the regular capacity (CTV Regina 2015). Citizens were asked to lower their water consumption by 25% for days until the facility could resolve the issue.
Sludge and sediment is also intentionally occurring during the treatment process which should be routinely removed. There are various types of systems in place to remove the majority of this build up, however ROVs or Utility Crawlers can effectively be deployed to assist in sludge removal.
Make routine inspection affordable and easy with ROVs
Its small form factor is also capable of operating in areas as narrow as 16”, making it adept for working in confined spaces. Coming standard with a 270 degree panning HD camera, vertical precision thruster, and recording capabilities, the DTG3 performs admirably as an all-in-one inspection tool.
Beyond visual inspections, the DTG3 can be equipped with physical manipulator claws, samplers, environmental sensors, gauges, and more for improved monitoring of submerged assets. Building an in-depth portfolio of status reports using an ROV is an effective way to catch defects quickly. A report history also helps forecast future maintenance without the cost, risk, or scheduling associated with divers.
If left unchecked, sludge that has been missed by removal systems will cause operational or contamination issues, and will need to be removed manually. The safest and most cost-effective method of this is to deploy the DT640 VAC.
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