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High-tech boost for health and safety

23 September 2011

Costain is trialling the use of a high-tech model boat capable of surveying the beds of rivers, lakes and even sewerage tanks that will greatly reduce health and safety risks.

The laser-located boat reduces health and safety risks as the risk of drowning and exposure to raw sewage is eliminated. The built-in radar system can improve the accuracy of readings to plus or minus 10mm as it can penetrate through silt to uncover true bed and concrete levels, which can save time.

The boat was trialled at the Five Fords WwTW Project for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water where the team needed to accurately establish the concrete base level of two very large live aeration tanks that treated sewage at the site near Wrexham.

Traditional methods would have seen the company employ a dip survey around the perimeter of the tanks but this wouldn’t have measured the key central area, said Tim Hall, a senior Design and Third Party Manager working on the Welsh Water project.  “Alternatively, someone would have gone into the water which increase the health and safety risk, either through drowning or through bacterial contamination,” Tim said.

“The bathymetric survey is cost effective and achieved in considerably less time than employing alternative methods. It gave us several hundred spot levels across the large tanks while not putting anyone at risk of drowning or bacterial infection,” said Tim.