CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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32 MAY 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Inspector's Corner Inspector's Corner Given the high amount of infrastructure needed to provide a safe and constant supply of municipal water, it's no surprise that tank inspectors are in high demand to keep water running efficiently throughout U.S. cities and towns. T he United States' landscape is dotted w ith water storage tanks. You can f ly above any cit y and see water tanks reaching the same heights as skyscrapers. T his is the culmina- tion of our societ y using an incredible amount of potable water. Specifica lly, the U.S. Geologica l Sur vey (USGS) estimates that on average, ever y A mer ican uses any where from 80 to 100 ga llons (302.8‒378.5 L) of water daily, w ith an estimated 86 percent of the countr y's population hav ing access to public water. Given the high amount of infra- structure needed to provide a safe and constant supply of municipal water, it's no surprise that tank inspectors are in high demand to keep water running efficiently throughout U.S. cities and towns. Traditionally, this has meant sending divers inside the tanks to inspect the community drinking water and the assets that hold it. is option may not only be costly in terms of training, equipment, and insurance, but it also has the potential to yield tragic results. is is where inspec- tion-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) come into play. Features to Consider ROVs are fairly common today, and they can offer a safe alternative or addition to coatings- or corrosion-re- lated projects. ey've been used to take photos and videos of projects, inspect bridges and tank exteriors, and blast steel surfaces. For tank interiors, there's an added element: water. W hen choosing, deploying, and using ROVs to inspect water tanks, there are some features to consider: • Check all available power sources: Because some water tanks are located at remote sites, external power sources may not be readily available. It's therefore best to be prepared for this scenario. When deploying search missions in remote areas, it's important to consider how much equipment needs to be hauled in to get started or whether you want an ROV with on-board battery power. ROVs running on internal DC battery power mean generators and/ or power cords don't need to be run to the tops of tanks, but be sure to watch that battery level! • Establish points of reference: Even before submerging an ROV inside a water tank, determine what you want the inspection to achieve. Once inspection reference points are established, the ROV and any accompanying equipment can be lowered down into the tank. The reason for doing this is because it's important to determine where obstacles may be located inside the Photos courtesy of Aquabotix Technology Corporation By Ted Curley, CDO of Aquabotix Using Underwater Drones for Water Tank Inspections

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