CRA Plant Engineer
contained her grin as she watched the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) lowered into the tank at the top of the Hinds Pumping Plant delivery lines in December as part of a pilot project.
The new technology was discovered through Met’s Technology Approval Group (TAG) program. “This inspection will be much easier than strapping on a harness and being lowered down the pipe,” says
One initial task in the CRA Delivery Line Rehabilitation Project is to visually inspect each pipe. Traditional methods involve being lowered into the steep portions of the pipes with climbing gear. According to materials engineers
, who perform these inspections, “properly assessing the crown of the pipe while being suspended in the dark is challenging.”
Metropolitan invited staff from the Central Arizona Project, CLEAN-17 partnership, and the CA Department of Water Resources to observe. “We always look to Metropolitan when it comes to innovation,” said Chris Buller, a DWR engineer.
The ROV technology uses an unmanned maneuverable underwater robot to collect ultra-high definition visual data. The ROV is tethered with an umbilical fiber optic cable that carries power through an array of lighting, sensors and cameras and transmits video to the operator. Complex algorithms filter turbidity and deliver 360º georeferenced photogrammetry to materials and pipeline engineers.