New crawler tech reduces risk to water utility employees

Posted 8 September 2016

Crawler technologyRemote controlled ultrasonic technology, known as a 'crawler', may be rolled out across Western Australia in a bid to improve safety for water utility employees.

Water Corporation used the technology for the first time in June to inspect a 25ML steel water tank in Karratha.     

“The remote control crawler attaches to the external tank wall using magnets, allowing it to roam up to 30 metres high,” said Water Corporation North West Regional Manager Rino Trolio.

“It measures the thickness and condition of the steel using ultrasound technology, which allows us to capture a clear picture of the condition of the tank. This information is then used to determine if the tank requires any maintenance.”

Trolio said the best part about the new technology is it reduces Water Corporation’s employees exposure to health and safety risks. 

“Most importantly, this is a safer way to inspect our tanks. Previously, our employees used cherry pickers to physically inspect the tanks – by using the crawler, we have eliminated any risk to our employees through working at heights,” he said.

Karratha tank with workers
The crawler can also be used to inspect confined spaces less than 60cm wide, which are too small for employees to enter.

Trolio said the utility planned to roll out the crawler technology across the state.
“This is a great example of our employees taking the initiative to use technology to work smarter and safely,” he said.