Jul 22, 2019

Robots May Help Aging Wastewater System

Crawling robots could help sewer repairs be done more quickly

Crawling robots could help sewer repairs be done more quickly

In St. Petersburg, Fla., robots could help fix the wastewater system

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the robots may soon be crawling in sewage pipes to scan for pipe issues. The robots are faster than underground video cameras, allowing repairs to be done more quickly, senior water resources manager Lisa Rhea said. 

The city council has plans to sign a $600,000 contract with RedZone Robotics to provide its crawling robots for the Water Resources Department, according to the Tampa Bay Times

The wastewater system was overflowing with 1 billion gal of water from 2015 to 2016. The overwhelmed system had old, leaky pipes at the time, adding to the issue. According to the Tampa Bay Times, on a dry day about two-thirds of the flow was due to groundwater seeping into the pipes. The pipes became overwhelmed when it rained that played a big role in the sewage discharges.

The robots will score pipes on a scale of 1 to 5. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the scores indicate whether the pipes are cracked, displaced or have any missing pieces. The robots will also create maps of the pipe system and will help point out what sections of pipe needs the work most. 

“Now, you have a peace of mind and don’t have to react anymore,” said John DePasquale, RedZone Robotics sales operations manager, to the Tampa Bay Times.

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