Robot inspects CR water tower - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Robot inspects CR water tower

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A regular inspection of a Cedar Rapid 150 foot tall water tower is anything but routine.

"You have to send a crew up to the top with a raft," said Megan Murphy, with the city of Cedar Rapids.

Thanks to a new piece of technology, the task has become a little more manageable.

"It's got a camera on it, it's got lights, and propellers," Murphy said.

It's called a Remote Operated Vehicle.

A crew lifts the device to the top of the tower

"He will then drop it into the water and from the ground I'm able to swim it around," said Kyle Lay, with Dixon Engineering.

Lay is able to navigate the vehicle through the two million gallon tank from below providing clear video of the condition of the inside of the tank.

"Their tank got painted two years ago, and we came in to look at the coating throughout the tank to make sure it's holding up like it should have," Lay said.

"We want to make sure if there are any problems, we can get those taken care of under warranty," Murphy said.

An inspection that previously took close to one week is now done in 45 minutes, saving the city thousands of dollars.

"It's less time-intensive," Murphy said.

Gone are the days of draining the tower, now the view is just as clear in a full tank of water.

"If this goes well, we definitely plan on making this the way we inspect tanks moving forward," Murphy said.

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