Works superintendent Kam So suggests that Lake Cowichan council could investigate using a robot to clean the town’s water reservoir. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Robot proposed for cleaning of Town of Lake Cowichan reservoir

“It’s a low risk techonology that should be explored”

Is it possible to use a remotely-operated vehicle to clean Lake Cowichan’s town reservoir?

That’s a question that’s been posed by the town’s works superintendent.

In a report prepared recently for council, Kam So said, “the town’s reservoir needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure clean drinking water is delivered to households in Lake Cowichan.”

This should be an annual job, he said.

“Over time, sediment, waste, and plant material find their way to the bottom of the reservoir. This material turns into a layer of sludge that acts as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, dangerous to the quality of water and harmful to the capacity of the tank. Although the WTP removes a lot of the sludge it’s still important to monitor and clean the reservoir.”

So, what happens to it now?

The town’s current procedure is to shut off the valves to the reservoir, empty it, and then clean the lining, he said, adding that it takes about three days to clean the reservoir and about another six to fill it and “allow the appropriate amount of contact time with the water treatment plant to allow further distribution of clean water.”

So said that this job also involves public works crew for several days “and exposes them to a confined spaces hazard that is above their regular duties”.

At issue is the use of professional divers to clean the reservoir.

“Although this method is an industry standard, it is expensive. As new safety regulations may require a rescue team to be available. Contravention of the confined spaces [regulations] could be subject to a fine; $25,000 to $500,000 are not uncommon.”

Another idea is the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROV). It’s gaining popularity.

“It’s a low risk technology that should be explored,” So said, pointing out that it would allow the cleaning of the reservoir without having to completely empty it, and would require no physical entry into the reservoir at all.

Finally, So said, “the ROV can be equipped with vacuum head and camera to allow for internal tank inspections and cleaning. The benefits of using the vacuum head means that there is minimal loss of water during the project, depending on the size and amount of material to clean, and it can be done any time during the year.”



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules for 60 days starting Saturday, April 4

CVRD cancels all recreation and theatre programs through end of April

Community centre and recreation programs cancelled through end of April

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Archer takes on new challenges at BC Winter Games

That thrilling shoot-off resulted in one of Whitworth’s two medals

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

COVID-19: postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

53 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., four new deaths

B.C. has 498 active confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

Most Read