Using drone technology to examine Scottish sewers

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  • Scottish Water is a pioneer in using drones to inspect Scotland’s sewers.

Utilities say the technology eliminates the need for workers to perform inspections, provides a more accurate reading of conditions, and helps reduce emissions.

In July, the company conducted the UK’s first drone inspection of sewers in Glasgow’s Bath Street.

Similar tests will be introduced in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and some rural areas.

High-tech drones are equipped with cameras and laser technology called light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to scan sewers for problems such as cracks, holes, partial collapse, seepage, and root encroachment.

More detailed inspections will reduce repair and maintenance costs and reduce the risk of flooding and pollution.

This method replaces his 15 workers who traditionally performed inspections, but the method is still used in other parts of the network.

Drones will help save staff working in confined spaces and dangerous conditions where there is a risk of noxious fumes.

It added that the technology would not adversely affect the jobs, wages, or conditions of workers involved. A spokesperson said, “The rollout will actually allow us to perform more sewer inspections in parts of the sewer network that were unreachable by the traditional ‘worker entry’ method, so it’s actually more work.” will occur. Also, sewerage inspection is only part of these workers’ jobs. ”

The technology, including software, was developed by Environmental Techniques, a surveying company based in Northern Ireland. Scottish Water said he will fly drones to parts of the 33,000-mile network that were unreachable by conventional surveys.

By reducing the number of vans and vehicle deliveries, the method can reduce CO2 emissions from sewage surveys by up to 80 percent, he added. “Drones have been used elsewhere in sewers, but with limited capacity and success,” said Ian Jones, risk and lifecycle planning manager at the company. Certain customizations make this one very special. “Output in 4K quality combined with accurate modeling is revolutionary.

“Some of the sewers predate the Victorian era, being over 160 years old, and we need information to make good decisions about how to rehabilitate them if necessary.” This quality is four times higher than HDTV and a first in the UK.

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