Huntley’s Sub Aqua Construction brings piece of mind to customers with regular and efficient mini remotely operated vehicle inspections
Huntley’s Sub Aqua Construction (HSAC) is a commercial diving company based in Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Operating since 1994, HSAC recently added a Deep Trekker mini remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to their team to improve potable water and reservoir inspections.
HSAC consists of a team of 6 highly trained divers experienced in everything from underwater welding, inspections, cleaning and maintenance. Their acquisition of Deep Trekker’s DTG2 ROV unit has allowed HSAC to significantly reduce costs associated with performing services for their client base.
Huntley’s Sub Aqua Construction has been providing marine communities with commercial diving services for over 20 years and have integrated a specialised focus in potable water tank and reservoir inspections for the past decade. HSAC explains that frequent potable water tank and reservoir inspections are important to maintain and improve water quality, extend the service life of the reservoir and/or structures, and to provide peace of mind.
Over time, sediment can build up in storage facilities and compromise the quality of the water and the structural integrity of tanks may also be depleted. By performing regular inspections, maintenance can be carried out at the first sign of necessity reducing potential costs for the plant operators. After years of completing inspections with divers, HSAC recently added the Deep Trekker DTG2 ROV to their arsenal of tools to perform inspection tasks.
Deep Trekker Inc.is a Canadian manufacturer of underwater inspection tools. Their underwater drones (ROVs) and portable CCTV pipe crawler systems have been providing the utility and commercial diving industries with robust equipment for the past 6 years. Deep Trekker’s flagship product, the DTG2 ROV, is currently being used for thousands of projects around the globe ranging from aquaculture farm inspections, to research investigations, to search and rescue operations and utility maintenance. Deep Trekker’s underwater drone was chosen by HSAC for its easy deployment and operation, robust build and affordable price tag.
Mike Huntley, from Huntley Sub Aqua Construction, took the time to comment on how the DTG2 ROV has improved their potable water tank and reservoir inspections. “Using the Deep Trekker just makes things a lot easier, a lot more efficient and a lot cheaper. Both for the client and myself”. He explained that due to commercial diving regulations, a dive inspection requires a team of four divers to be on site, as opposed to the ROV which requires one operator. This can increase per inspection costs by $3000.00 compared to using the underwater drone because of the time, equipment and preparation required before divers get in the water.
“Using the Deep Trekker just makes things a lot easier, a lot more efficient and a lot cheaper. Both for the client and myself.”
A typical reservoir inspection in a 500,000 gallon capacity tank takes approximately 30 minutes with the Deep Trekker ROV, start to finish. Inspection time by divers requires about the same amount of time. However, the additional preparation time required for divers significantly adds to the cost. A commercial diving company such as HSAC understands the importance of commercial diving and human judgement while underwater. However, for inspection tasks such as tank and reservoir maintenance, the ROV is the perfect system to assess and record current conditions and to save the company and clients’ time and money.
Huntley also explains that while it is possible to use divers in potable water tank inspections, the ROV is much easier to disinfect and offers more peace of mind to the client. Everything is sealed and contained within the DTG2 ROV so there are is less maintenance, preparation and follow up required to ensure that the equipment is ready for an inspection.
With internally mounted lithium ion batteries, operators of the DTG2 ROV receive between 6-8 hours of run time on a single charge. The complete portability and next-to-no maintenance that the Deep Trekker ROVs offer are attractive and desirable features for HSAC. Huntley explains that having a battery powered unit works perfectly for the tasks they undertake. “It’s a complete unit. I can take a little 110 inverter along with me. I can charge it up from the van on our way because it has the 110 inverter right built in the van. It’s just this little unit that’s self-contained and it’s just a real simple unit for us to use.” noted Huntley.
The nature of the Deep Trekker DTG2 ROV also makes it the ideal equipment for completing elevated potable water tank inspections. “Some potable water tanks or reservoirs can be over 100 feet high. I added an extended tether to the ROV so that we can operate the system from the service van while inspecting inside the tank or reservoir. With a diver, it can be done, but we personally have never done one at that height just because it costs an extra thousands of dollars in boom trucks and logistics just to get the inspection done. Whereas you can get the same thing done in a 110 foot tower as you would in a 10 foot tower with the ROV.” Mike Huntley explained.
HSAC has outfitted their van so that the operator can monitor the ROV from within and have included a seat for the client to watch the inspection as well. Aside from the ROV tender working from the top of the tower, the operators can remain on the ground to complete the inspection. By setting it up like this, HSAC is able to offer a personal experience with their client during the inspection process.
In addition to potable water tank and reservoir inspections, HSAC has used their Deep Trekker ROV to do wharf inspections and maintenance. They are planning on using their underwater drone to complete more of these tasks in the future. Mike Huntley commented that “It’s a rugged, tough piece of equipment that can handle bumping around a wharf.”
Mike Huntley and Huntley’s Sub Aqua Construction continue to expand their uses for their Deep Trekker unit and integrate it into their commercial diving services. “The Deep Trekker ROV paid for itself 80, 90, 100 times over since I’ve had it. That’s how reliable and that’s how effective and cost effective they are. They’re great units. They seem to work all the time. The maintenance is extremely minimal and it’s a quality product.” remarked Huntley. “The service at Deep Trekker; when I call, they answer within 4, 5, 10 minutes tops. They always have the right answers for me.”
Deep Trekker Inc. offers a range of models of mini-ROVs as well as a self-contained, portable pipe crawler system. ROVs systems can reach depths of 150 or 305 meters and the pipe crawler is rated for 50 metres. Deep Trekker continues to provide commercial dive companies with a tool that can be used to compliment the dive work. Various add-on tools and options are available to improve lighting, manipulate objects, test water, and more.