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Water Tank Cleaning using Underwater Robot Solution

Cody Warner   |   September 26, 2017

Deep Trekker's latest innovation offers a cost-effective solution to water tank cleaning. Potable water cleaning made easy with the DT640 Utility Crawler.

Water Tank Cleaning and Inspection

Here at Deep Trekker, we focus a lot of attention on potable (drinking water) tank inspections. Our DTG3 ROV is the industry standard for performing tank inspections, due to their ease of use and portability. Part of good water maintenance is regular cleaning as well. In water storage tanks, the water sits virtually still. Over time, sediment sinks to the bottom. Even your drinking water has some particles and minerals in it! Small amounts of sediment have no impact on the quality of the water or the health of those who drink it, it also has next to zero impact on the structural integrity of the storage tank.

water tower cleaning robot

However, over time as that sediment builds up and mixes into thicker sludge material, it can have impacts on the quality of the water and on the structure of the tank. Any tank manufacturer recommends regular water tower cleaning of the tanks to ensure long-term integrity. Up to this point, current solutions for cleaning water tanks are to either:

a) Drain the tank of the hundreds of thousands of gallons to millions of gallons of water that it holds and clean it.

b) Send a diver in with a vacuum hose attached to a pump.

Option A: Drain the Tank


Usually, a week passes from emptying to filling again. It can also be risky - many cities, especially smaller towns, rely on

It Can Be Risky

Many cities, especially smaller towns, rely on potable storage tanks as their solution for a larger fire.

Can Be Expensive

Depending on the cost of your water. In North America, we are spoiled with relatively low water costs but even a million gallon is worth a few thousand dollars in deliverable resource.

Option B: Hire Commercial Dive Team

Generally involving a team of three (one diver and two spotters) entering an enclosed space, which is expensive and risky as well. Placing a person in a space where there is only one escape and they are relying on their equipment for survival is not the safest option for performing this work. Placing a whole diver in drinking water is also not the most sanitary, it is difficult to sanitize an entire dive suit, which may also have been used in non-drinking water applications prior to entering the tank.

The Water Tank Cleaning Solution

Deep Trekker has been providing an inspection option for tanks for years, but now the newly released DT640 Utility Crawler can be deployed to offer water tank cleaning. Since our vehicles are fully submersible, they are able to be deployed while the tank is online.

Keeping them Clean

Deep Trekker Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Crawlers can be sanitized using a chlorine solutions (typically 200 ppm), and due to their small size, it isn't difficult to keep them clean. The DT640 has a low light specialized camera and bright LED floodlights on board to offer a view of your work. As well as additional camera options to get a wider view from above the vacuum head as it moves around. Once deployed, the vacuum head can be connected to a submersible pump (sometimes referred to as a sump pump or trash pump) with a hose and the crawler will drive the vacuum head attachment around the bottom and suck up the sediment, sludge or in some cases like the video above, rodents.

The articulating arm enables the crawler to raise and lower the vacuum head while you are getting in position for a vacuum. It also enables the operator to rotate the head 20 degrees to take on edges, corners or around pillars or standpipes.

Talk to us about how our ROVs improve the safety, cost and speed of water tank inspections and cleanings

Contact Industry Specialist

Water Tank Cleaning Experience

The DT640 is also battery powered, enabling it to be deployed without needing a generator on site. Everything you need to keep your tanks clean comes in two carrying cases. David Haire, Director of Inspections at Pittsburg Tank & Tower had this to say about his experience with their Deep Trekkers:

"If I could give more stars I would. Best customer service experience I have ever experienced. These guys products work beyond compare and they will help you in any way possible with any question you have. Blew my mind when the owner of the company actually called me himself and has emailed me several times to assist with questions. We just started using them but we will be changing our entire fleet to Deep Trekker due to their superb products and the fact that you know you are dealing with a company that actually cares and wants to do everything they can to help their customers. Outstanding company."

dt640 utility crawler vacuum cleaner

Typically the cost and inconvenience have been prohibitive for your city to get tanks regularly cleaned, however with an option like this available, there is no excuse for not keeping up with the recommended yearly vacuuming of the drinking water tanks. Do you have tanks that you'd like to start cleaning? Get a quote for your DT640 today!

Want to learn more about how drinking water tanks are inspected?

Read: Water Tank Inspection Best Practices with an Underwater ROV

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