Underwater inspections are an important sector of the commercial diving industry. Routine inspections of municipal water reservoirs play a role in ensuring city drinking water will be available for many years to come.
In California, divers employed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) are tasked with inspecting and cleaning the 10 water reservoirs in the city limits, according toSFGate.
What’s Entailed in Reservoir Inspections?
These inspection divers carefully search the bottom of city water reservoirs for cracks or structural problems that would not be visible from the surface and keep a keen eye out for anything else that looks out of place. Divers also spend a number of months vacuuming out the thin layer of sediment that settles over time at the bottom of each reservoir. While some cities have systems that filter out this sediment, SFPUC determined it was more cost-efficient to have divers do it by hand, the article explained.
Why Send Divers?
Divers are tasked with the job because it would be impractical to drain each reservoir for a dry inspection—not to mention all the water that would be wasted. San Francisco’s water reservoirs haven’t been fully drained for inspection and cleaning since the 1930s, when crews would empty each reservoir to be cleaned with fire hoses and squeegees, the article noted.