FORWARD-thinking officials at utility giant, Scottish Water. have continued their commitment to ensure that customers receive the purest supplies at the tap by using a pair of innovative underwater cleaning robots.
Scottish Water has been working together with independent Scottish water quality engineering firm, Panton McLeod, to use the two machines – which are used to inspect and clean water structures across the UK – in the Clackmannanshire region.
The robots, known as the VR600 and ROV units, are used exclusively by Panton McLeod to inspect and clean underground water storage tanks while they are live and online – meaning that they do not need to be drained and customers experience no disruption to their supplies.
The Borders-based firm already uses the machines when undertaking cleaning and inspection work for some of the biggest water companies in the British Isles, including Severn Trent Water and Northumbrian Water.
In the latest project, Scottish Water invited Panton McLeod to use the machines to inspect and clean the Brook Street Reservoir in Alva – and invited senior staff to attend the operation to see first-hand how the innovative machines are deployed.
The firm used its ROV unit to inspect the interior of the facility – which holds around one million litres of drinking water – before using its larger VR600 machine to clean sediment and debris from the floor of the tank. A live video stream taken from cameras on the two robots was then fed back to monitors to allow Scottish Water staff to see the machines’ work in action.
Paul Henderson, Panton McLeod’s operations director, said: “We have worked closely with Scottish Water on a range of projects in the past, so we’re delighted to be showcasing our innovative robots in another part of Scotland.
“Our two robots are the latest state-of-the-art machines and play a vital role in the work we carry out for major water companies across the UK. Because we meticulously clean and disinfect them before they are put into service reservoirs, we are able to operate them while the tanks are still active and in use without posing any risk to the quality of the stored water.
“This makes our technology a cost-effective, efficient and environmentally-friendly way of performing this kind of routine cleaning and inspection work in the UK water industry.
“We have used our robots in Scottish Water projects before but this time, they wanted some of their senior staff to come and see the machines in action for themselves. We had a tremendous response and we’re looking forward to working even closer with them in future jobs across the country.”
Mike Lynch, Scottish Water, said: “We were keen to use the ROV and VR600 at Alva. The tank needed cleaned and due to distribution issues we could not bypass the trunk main.
The work was completed without us affecting any of our customers, water quality or the environment. Our local network support officer was so impressed he wants to use this system every time we clean the tanks.
“I would like to thank Panton Macleod for their help – they are valuable partners who help us deliver the best service possible to the Scottish people.”
Panton McLeod, which has offices in the Scottish Borders, Nottingham and the United States, is one of the best-known names in the water industry, working with the biggest companies on the inspection, cleaning and repair of drinking water structures.
It has carried out numerous high-profile pieces of work for Scottish Water over the past 15 years, including carrying out a vital part of the multi-million pound Loch Katrine project in 2006 – a £120 million development designed to bring Glasgow’s drinking supplies into the 21st century and the biggest-ever single investment by Scottish Water.
Panton McLeod’s VR600 robot is a large-tracked machine that is manoeuvred along the floor of a service reservoir and cleans away any sediment or impurities in the water. It can also be used to inspect the condition of the water tanks, including checking the walls and pipework for corrosion or damage.
The ROV unit is a smaller robot that can be manoeuvred like a submarine through the water in a service reservoir. It is used to inspect the interior of the tank and check for damage or leaks.
Both machines remotely operated and fitted with camera and lighting equipment, which allows staff controlling the sub to assess the interior of the tanks. They are also used solely within clean potable water environments and meticulously cleaned and disinfected prior to every use to ensure they can be safely used in the public water supply, and Panton McLeod conducts rigorous tests before and after each inspection.
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